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How eight million overseas Pakistanis will affect general elections

Over 200,000 voters from Islamabad live abroad

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 18, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Nov 18, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

At least 8 million Pakistanis from twenty districts of the country are living abroad. Under the legislation passed by the Parliament on Wednesday, many of them will be given the right to vote in any elections held in their home constituency in Pakistan.

Eight million is 3.6% of the total 220 million Pakistani population. It is not a large number, but it could prove a decisive tiebreaker.

The number becomes more interesting when you add into the calculation the fact that a large number of overseas Pakistanis hail from specific of districts of the country.

This fact may cause anxiety to some political parties and shenanigans to others.

At least 700,000 of the overseas voters come from 14 National Assembly constituencies in Lahore, according to SAMAA TV

On average each constituency has about 50,000 overseas voters.

Lahore is a stronghold of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN). In 2018, it won 10 of the 14 constituencies. The remaining four went to the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Eight of the 14 NA contests were decided by a margin of fewer than 50,000 votes. Overseas voters, thus, can change the election outcome in Lahore in the next general elections.

The pattern is repeated elsewhere.

At least 470,000 overseas voters come from five NA constituencies in Sialkot and 450,000 from seven constituencies in Rawalpindi.

In Karachi, four NA constituencies from the Central District have 346,960 overseas voters, and four constituencies in the East Distst have 221,312 overseas voters.

In Swat, at least 225,764 overseas Pakistanis will now be voting in three constituencies.

And the scales would certainly be tipped in Islamabad which has only two NA constituencies but over 200,000 voters living outside the country.

It is believed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has a strong following among overseas Pakistanis.

PTI workers outside the country seem more active than those back home.

A high election turnout outside the country will likely help the PTI.

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