NID: PAKISTAN: ELECTION OUTLOOK

Created: 2/23/1985

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Special Analysis

Outlook

nonparty national and provincial electrons neat Monday and Thursday will givenother politicalespectable voter turnout Is expected detpite opposition ettorts tooycott, and thc campaign Is not likely to ignite widespread antl-ZIa violence.

opes Ihe electionsthe firstillo claim he has restored democratic institution* Forbidding panes to participate, he hopes, win destroy the enisling party structure ana end Ihe influence of lhe Pakistan People's Party, the major opposition group He tears its leaders, particularly the late Prime Minister Bhutto's daughter. Benaiir. will movevenge Bhutto if Ihey returned to power. I

Zia's decision to hotd elections nowesponse to Army concerns Ihat military rule has hurt its standing and diverted manpower and resources from its external security responsibilities

At ihe same time, the Army has ted its interests be protected during the transition lo civilianas sought to satisfy such concerns by retaining ihe presidency. He also said he will reduce the power of ihe Prime Mmisier and the National Assembly andational Secunly Council that gives the military the rignt to monitor the Assembly. Mfaaaaj

When the main religious parly, many conservatives, and even some memberi ot the People's Party decided tohe elections, the opposilion lost its only realistic prospect foroycott and cr-tjjrrassing Zia. The government i

'dent it can suppress ailempts to disrupt voting

Outlook

Most candidates are running lor the first time, campaigning on local issues and drawing on local lies, so It win take lime to determine their stance on national Issues. Zla supporters, however, win be strong

enough tofie asafambtitt from pursuing cortrontatlOfti Hf"

Chronic regional, ethnic, and religious divisions,ontinue encouraging the opposition and depriving Zla ol the stable governing consensus he seeks

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