Youth seems divided over fairness of the next general elections

By: Asem Awan

The youth showed mixed opinion over the fairness and credibility of the next general elections as about 51.9 per cent of them think that the polls will be free, fair and credible while almost an equal number (46.9pc) believe otherwise.

Following are the key findings of an opinion survey conducted among the 422 members and alternates of PILDAT’s Youth Parliament Pakistan spread over 232 (85.3 %) of total 272 National Assembly Constituencies in addition to Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Overseas Pakistanis. The survey was conducted from April 07 to April 12, 2022.

Youth is torn over the fairness and credibility of the next General Elections as about 51.9% of youth surveyed believe that the upcoming General Election of Pakistan will be free, fair & credible while an almost equal number (46.9%) believes otherwise.

While debate over usage of EVMs is ongoing, youth shows a favourable stance with 76.7% of Youth believe that EVMs will be helpful in organising free, fair & credible elections while 22.1% believe they would not be helpful.

Reasons for low Youth Voter Turnout, Poor Performance of Politicians tops as 42.3% of youth respondents believe that the poor performance of politicians is the key reason for abysmally low youth voter turnout, followed by low level of trust in Political Parties (42%) and the poor past performance of Election Commission (37.5%).

What makes youth support a political party? 37.9% of the respondents are motivated to support a political party due to its past performance, 36.5% base their support on the party’s election manifesto while 17.5% are motivated by the charismatic head of the party.

Large Majority supports revival of Students’ Unions across Pakistan as a significant portion (81.1%) of the young respondents agree over students’ unions being allowed once again, in all public and private educational institutes of Pakistan while 16.9% are in disagreement over their revival.

Youth View on Pakistan government stance regarding Russian invasion of Ukraine: over the recent Russia-Ukraine Resolution passed by the UN General Assembly, 70.1% of the young respondents supported the Pakistani government’s decision to abstain from voting on the resolution. 20.6% supported the idea of voting in favour of the resolution while 5.5% favoured voting against it.

In Major Challenges faced by Pakistan; Inflation tops the list as ranking the challenges faced by Pakistan today, 48.7% youth believes that inflation is the greatest challenge faced by the country, followed by unemployment (45.6%) and the poor quality of education across educational institutions in the country (36.3%).

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96% youth feels strongly for Local Governments as 95.9% of the young individuals surveyed believe that public problems can never be effectively solved without strong local governments.

Despite weaknesses & setbacks, Democracy receives Overwhelming support from Youth as 84.9% of the respondents agree that democracy, despite its weaknesses, is the best system for our country.

The Voice of Youth is a report series by PILDAT’s Youth Parliament Pakistan which aims to showcase the input acquired from the largest and most representative group of Pakistani youth (aged 18-29 years) spread over all provinces and territories of Pakistan and places of key concentration of Overseas Pakistanis around the globe on several socio-political and economic issues and challenges faced by them.

This edition’s theme is ‘Current Affairs at a Glance’. Under this month’s edition, YPP conducted a public opinion survey from its members of Youth Parliament to seek their input regarding current socio-economic and political situation of Pakistan.