As 128 million voters put together for the February 8 elections, Al Jazeera decodes the important thing numbers shaping Pakistan.
On February 8, as Pakistan votes in nationwide elections, the nation’s democracy will face its newest check.
It’s an election that can determine the following authorities of the world’s fifth-most populous nation. Befittingly, it’s also an election of enormous numbers – very giant numbers.
From voters and events to the financial system and extra, right here’s a information to Pakistan’s election and to the nation itself, in these numbers.
What’s the election about?
In all, 128 million folks registered to vote within the elections to choose 266 representatives on February 8, forming the sixteenth parliament in a first-past-the-post system.
Pakistan is a rustic with 241 million folks, of whom two-thirds are below the age of 30. A citizen turns into eligible to vote on the age of 18.
It’s also an unlimited nation, spanning mountainous terrain in its north, a number of deserts and a 990km (615 miles) shoreline. On February 8, 90,582 polling stations will service voters who wish to forged their ballots.
Within the contest are 5,121 candidates. They belong both to Pakistan’s 167 registered political events or are independents. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) get together of former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been barred from utilizing its election image, the cricket bat, so its candidates can even be contesting as independents this time.
Solely a bit of greater than half of Pakistan’s citizens voted within the 2018 elections.
With a crackdown in opposition to Khan’s get together ongoing, it’s unclear whether or not the February 8 elections will see a decrease turnout, or a surge within the type of a silent protest vote in favour of PTI-aligned candidates.
How is the nation doing?
The elections are going down amid an ongoing financial disaster, with inflation working at almost 30 percent and a weakening foreign money, which has shed greater than 50 p.c of its worth in opposition to america greenback within the final two years.
In the meantime, the county entered right into a nine-month $3bn bailout deal with the Worldwide Financial Fund in July final yr, which is about to run out across the similar time as a brand new authorities will take oath.
Along with these financial woes, attacks from armed factions have elevated in previous months including to the instability of the nation.
The struggling financial system has allotted 243.6 million rupees ($850,000) for the price of the elections, which many critics imagine has effectively been engineered to maintain Khan out of energy and as an alternative usher in a pacesetter the army is snug with.
Pakistan’s highly effective army institution has ruled the country straight for greater than three a long time of its impartial historical past.
It’s the strongest institute within the nation: 12.5 percent of the federal government price range goes in direction of army spending, in accordance with authorities paperwork.
The run-up to the ballot has seen Khan sentenced to jail in at the least three different cases, and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – who was beforehand jailed after which in exile – return and emerge as a number one contender once more.
Whereas the financial system is teetering, Pakistan can also be on edge on the safety entrance, amid heightened tensions with three out of its 4 neighbours.
With a deeply polarised society and uncertainty concerning the future, many see this election as a referendum on the army’s involvement in politics.
Who’re Pakistan’s voters and candidates?
Of the 128 million voters, the biggest quantity – 44 p.c – are beneath the age of 35, making the youth vote crucial in these elections.
The second largest group of voters are between the ages of 36 and 45, constituting 22.3 p.c of the citizens.
Ladies type 46 p.c (59.3 million) and males 54 p.c (69.2 million) of the registered voters.
Greater than 5,000 candidates are contesting for 266 seats, and amongst them are 4,806 males, 312 ladies and two transgender folks.