Checkerboard of election is set and the players after preparing for months amidst cold weather and fear of suicide attacks and back-to-back crisis are ready to see what the destiny has for them. All the major parties are contesting the elections, and APDM a not-so-potent alliance is boycotting the elections.
All the provinces are buzzing with the election noise. Previous last week has remained instrumental in mobilizing the voters in all the provinces. That partly is due to the warm weather, less-terrorism, and the aggressiveness shown by Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Pervaiz Elahi in their election campaigns.
Situation in Sindh is pretty much obvious. People’s Party is sure to make government in Sindh province, and interior Sindh solely belongs to this party, and the urban areas of Sindh have also fell in its lap because of the sympathy vote after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last year. In Karachi there will be a neck-n-neck contest between MQM and PPP. PML-N has also done some seat adjustment with PPP, and that will also help PPP. PML-Q, though has got the support of PML-F and MQM, it’s hard for them to get any noticeable performance in this province.
NWFP is heavily divided on the contentions issue of terrorism. MMA, the religious alliance who was in power previously, has not only lost the popularity but it has also lost the credibility. Awami National Party, a secular party is booming with the support in NWFP, and along with PPP and PML-N, a coalition government is in the offing in this area.
Balochistan is largely dominated by the nationalist parties and most of them are part of APDM, but the real threat comes from the BLA and other armed groups, who have some dissenting designs. JUI-F of Fazlur Rehman has also divided into two, and therefore its hard for them to concentrate, so a coalition government is also in air there.
Punjab, the biggest province is where the real battle for the top throne will be fought. Here in the urban areas PML-N rules, whereas in rural areas PML-Q, PML-N and PPP have close competition. In Punjab, the prospects are that PML-N and PPP would make a coalition government.
But that is just a guess work and it could happen only if the elections are free and fair.