Ex-Cricketer Shakes Up Pakistani Election

from The Wall Street Journal..

May 7, 2013, By SAEED SHAH

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LAHORE, Pakistan—A charismatic contender is ripping up the electoral arithmetic of Pakistan’s two-party system with campaign promises to attack government corruption and pull the country out of “America’s war” against Islamic extremists.

Imran Khan, 60 years old, a former cricket superstar, has ignited enthusiasm in Pakistan for the national election on Saturday, particularly among younger voters.

Mr. Khan’s dramatic fall during a rally on Tuesday, fracturing two vertebrae and possibly sidelining him for the rest of the campaign, sparked public sympathy and promises by rival politicians to suspend their campaigns as well.

…….

With Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] party in the race, no single party is expected to get enough seats in Parliament to rule without a coalition—and Mr. Khan has said he is unwilling to join one with either of the other two main parties.

…….

Mr. Khan is banking on appealing to a rising Pakistani middle class, rapid growth in the youth population and a new public consciousness about the nature of the country’s ills thanks to a vigorous, expanding news media rife with political talk shows.

“It will amaze everyone how quickly this nation will rise up when we no longer have thieves in government,” he told a rally this week in Lahore. “When there is justice, this country can become a nation.”

Link to the entire article:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324326504578468881788610720.html?KEYWORDS=Pakistan

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