The Gilani Research Foundation Surveys carried out by Gallup Pakistan, show that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani began his tenure with fairly high approval ratings of 49 percent which dipped to less than half – at 21 percent – towards the end of his prime ministerial career. His negative ratings which were a mere 12 percent at the beginning, rose quite dramatically to 53 percent during the same period. A senior commentator at Gallup Pakistan says at the start of his tenure Gilani was viewed more favourably than the president because he was seen to be less partisan, less tainted by corruption and less potent in terms of his executive authority, some of which rested in the office of the president.
As a result, his approval ratings were mostly positive or ambivalent (39 percent). Only 12 percent viewed him negatively. As years passed by, Gilani disappointed those who believed he might rebel against President Asif Zardari. He was now seen to be more partisan to Zardari. Secondly, he began to gather around him corruption scandals similar to those which, irrespective of their veracity, were responsible for the negative reputation of President Zardari. As a result, he lost his ‘perceived innocence’. Lastly the passing of the 18th Amendment affected the ‘image of prime minister’s authority’. He was now seen to possess real executive authority. It is interesting that the sharp decline in Gilani’s approval ratings came during the period after the passing of the 18th Amendment in April 2010. On the whole Gilani’s continued partisanship to Zardari, loss of innocence on corruption and the formal powers vested in him after the 18th Amendment cost him a dramatic decline in net ratings from a +37 percent during his first year in government to -32 percent at the end of his tenure. The senior commenter further added that Gilani lost his case in the Supreme Court for not bending to court’s orders regarding Zardari’s alleged corruption. He lost his partisanship to Zardari’s politics. And yet when he is no longer in office the enigma will persist.