Pakistanis voted for change: Daily

Islamabad, May 13 (IANS) The decision of Pakistan’s voters is unambiguous, “they wanted and voted for change”, said a daily Monday, a day after unofficial results showed that Nawaz Sharif was poised to return as prime minister for the third time.

There was no nationwide tsunami, noted an editorial in the News International, “but there has certainly been a pretty big storm”.

“The decision of the voters has been clear and unambiguous – they wanted and voted for change. This is the beauty of democracy. They have given clear mandates.”

The daily said voter turnout was high, with official figures placing it at 60 percent.

“…and the message sent out by the electorate has been loud and clear and one that cannot be ignored. The new government in the centre will be led by the PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz.”

Nawaz Sharif brings to this third term in office “a great deal of experience and, we hope, greater maturity than that exhibited in 1990 and 1997”.

Pakistan now has a drastically altered National Assembly.

“The parties that had formed the ruling coalition after 2008 have suffered the most. The PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) has faced a huge setback – thrust firmly to the sidelines, able to retain control only in Sindh.

“…The people’s verdict cannot be faulted. This is a reflection of what they thought of the PPP’s governance, its inept management of national affairs and the massive corruption that marred the period between 2008 and 2013.”

The daily had a word of praise for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. The PTI has emerged as the second largest party.

“For a party as inexperienced as Imran’s PTI, this is a remarkable outcome. Any experience it lacks should be made up with the time it spends in the opposition. The party has emerged as a genuine force, and its supporters – disappointed though they are – should be proud,” it said.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the party did indeed create a mini tsunami. “The PTI can form the next government there and how it handles the key issue of militancy may well decide much about our future.”

There has been a specific pattern to Election 2013. “People have voted against tradition, and made their choice clear. The question now is whether the PML-N will be able to deliver on its promises…”

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