ISLAMABAD: As Imran Khan flexes his muscles to overthrow the elected government for the mid-term elections hoping it will win him the top slot, an opinion survey has found majority of Pakistanis opposed to electing him as the prime minister under the current circumstances.
They thought, the survey statistics indicate, Imran would wait for the next general elections to vie for the prime minister’s office and said they would not vote him for his dream position no matter the elections were held today or four-years later.
An over-whelming majority said they would prefer democracy over dictatorship if a choice were to be made.The survey conducted by the Gallup Pakistan at the close of one year of Nawaz Sharif government noted a decline in the PML-N’s popularity as the no-confidence on the government increases but the people do not see a savior in Imran Khan either.
Questions about the government’s performance and Imran Khan as the alternative option were separately asked as public opinion was sought from June 16 to June 18. Responding to a question if they liked Imran Khan as the PM, 52% answered in negative and 47% approved the idea whereas one percent didn’t answer. Support for Imran further decreased in a follow-up question that whether they would vote for him for the highest office as 60% opposed his candidature for the PM’s office, 39% voted for him and one percent abstained.
Next comes the million dollars question as it is perfectly relevant in today’s situation: Please tell us that Imran Khan should or should not be appointed as the prime minister under the current circumstances? Majority disapproved the idea as 59% vetoed the proposal and 41% voted for it.
Interestingly, the highest disapproval came from the middle income group as 64% of them answered in the negative followed by low income (55%) and high income (52%). Disapproval rate was somewhat equal among the all age groups as 58% young, 59% middle-aged and old-aged each answered in the negative. When asked about his chances of becoming PM if the PML-N government is toppled, a sizeable respondents (34%) said Imran absolutely has no chance to grab the power, another 38% saw ‘very little chance’. Only 26% were optimistic in this respect.
A follow-up question sought opinion whether Imran would wait for the next election for becoming the PM or not, a significant majority (66%) thought he would and 31% were pessimistic. Their observation appears to have turned out right.
Relative negative rating of Imran was despite the fact that PML-N’s popularity has also plummeted as 53% said they wouldn’t vote for the ruling party even if given an opportunity and majority of them were from high income group (61%) followed by medium income (50%) and low income (49%). In terms of urban-rural divide, 54% disapproval was given by the urban respondents and 52% were of rural background. With reference to age bracket, decline of popularity among young and middle-aged respondent was equal (52%). It was relatively lower (46%) among the old-age population.
Asked to rate the performance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, only 18% said they are ‘very satisfied’, a major chunk of 40% rated it ‘somewhat satisfied’, 18% were ‘neither satisfied nor dissatisfied’, 8% were ‘somewhat unsatisfied’ and 16% were ‘very unsatisfied.’
Responding to a question about one-year performance of the PML-N government, only 18% termed it ‘very good’, 39% declared it ‘good’, another 26% rated it ‘bad’, 16% termed it ‘very bad’ and one percent didn’t respond.
The general public was asked if they personally preferred democracy or dictatorship. In response, 81% said democracy compared to 13% who mentioned dictatorship and 6% did not respond.
Following up, respondents were asked if they had to choose between democracy and dictatorship, what they would pick. 84% of the respondents said democracy whereas 15% said dictatorship and 1% did not respond.