“The voice of the people is

the voice of God.”

– Alcuin

The democratic forces have finally won the day and are marching in unison towards their common goal of a democratic dispensation in Pakistan.

The dusk of May 11 is likely to see the birth of fresh aspirations laced with hope by those who that want peace, harmony and tolerance to prevail side by side with their will to participate in the affairs of the state.

Against this backdrop, it is expected that no party will win more than 50 seats in the polls, thus leading to the establishment of a hung Parliament. However, there are three main contenders - PPP, PML-N and PTI – in the battle for power and which one of them will receive the highest percentage of votes remains to be seen.

Further, it is good that despite the assassination of candidates, bomb blasts, target killings, riots, etc - that casts a dark shadow over the entire electoral process - in an effort to derail the elections, the march to strengthen democracy continues.

Some political parties have correctly complained that right from the scrutiny process of nomination papers down to the protection of prospective candidates, has established the fact that a level playing field was not available to every one participating in the democratic process; more specifically, the parties that have stood up against extremism and the agents of evil.

While this may be construed as a failure on the part of Pakistan’s security apparatus, the basic reason is that leaders of political parties failed to form a united front against all those who indulge in acts of terrorism.

Another tragic incident: recently, PTI chief Imran Khan fell off a forklift that was taking him onto a stage at an election rally in Lahore. He received head and back injuries. Reportedly, the doctors have advised him to take complete rest for at least the next 15 days, thus suspending his election campaign. It is, indeed, a bad incident that occurred just a  week before the elections. But it is expected that the incident will not impede PTI’s surge in several urban areas of Punjab.

And the PML-N, too, will have to make way for the candidates contesting on PTI’s ticket in these areas. This scenario will undoubtedly and indirectly support the candidates, who are contesting from the PPP’s platform.

More so, while the PPP candidates are campaigning vigorously in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and even in Balochistan, it could be described as lacklustre at best in Punjab. Probably, the party leadership is taking solace from the media reports that it will emerge as a winner from South Punjab; here its candidates are expected to win about 90 percent of the seats, while PML-Q may get 10 to 15 seats. The PPP may also win some seats in Faisalabad, Lahore and the northern districts of the province.

According to an estimate prepared by a PPP think-tank, in case it wins 60 to 65 seats in the elections, it will become eligible to form the next government with the help of its allies - MQM and ANP, iin addition to the traditional vote of MNAs from Fata.

The next possibility is: the PML-N and PPP opt for the politics of convenience and power sharing, i.e. if the PML-N scores majority seats in Parliament. In case the PPP is left out, it will become very difficult for any coalition government to function.

One must remember that currently the PPP is in majority in the Senate; thus, it could play a critical role in allowing the next government to function properly. Some analysts, however, assume that the scenario building to the run up of the May 11 elections indicate that the next government will be short-lived and the country will have no choice, but to go in for another election within 12 to 18 months.

As a final word, the positive aspect that will come out of the 2013 elections, and if there was another early general election, is that democracy has finally taken root in Pakistan - meaning thereby, that the aspirations of the people have finally been realised, which would define the future destiny of this country.

The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist. At present, he hosts a political programme on Pakistan Television.