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“The 2024 General Elections in Pakistan “

“The 2024 General Elections in Pakistan “

Background:

  • 2018 Decisions:
  • After the completion of a five-year term, Pakistan held common races on July 25, 2018. The decisions enveloped both national and common levels, coming about within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) developing as the single biggest party broadly. At the common level, various parties secured dominance in different districts, driving a complex political scene.
  • 2022 Sacred Emergency:
  • In Walk 2022, restriction parties joined together beneath the Pakistan Law-based Development (PDM) and initiated a movement of no certainty against Prime Serve Imran Khan. This move was met with discussion, counting claims of remote impedances and ensuing disintegration of the National Get together. 

2024 General Elections:

  • Charges of Impedances:
  • The 2024 races confronted affirmations of military impedances, casting questions on their reasonableness. The PTI, despite being a major party, had to field candidates as Independents due to a disputable Incomparable Court administering, driving to allegations of out-of-line treatment.
  • Worldwide Concerns:
  • Different remote media outlets and universal spectators, including the Joined together States, European Union, and Joined together Kingdom, communicated concerns around the appointive process’s judgment. Allegations of fixing and favoritism assist fueled questions about the elections’ reasonableness. 

Aftermath: 

  • Khan’s Launch:
  • Taking after the deteriorating of the National Get together and coming approximately true blue battles, Prime Serve Imran Khan was purged from office through a no-confidence vote, checking a basic event in Pakistan’s political history. Khan credited his clearing to charges of further impedances, particularly from the Joined Together States, highlighting weights including Pakistan’s progressed approach choices.
  • Open Reaction:
  • Khan’s flight began to contradict his supporters over Pakistan, underscoring the polarized nature of the political scene and the deep-seated divisions interior the country’s individuals. The repercussions of the 2024 choices and Khan’s clearing kept on forming Pakistan’s political talk and future course. 
  • Formation of the PDM Government: Following the successful no-confidence motion, Shehbaz Sharif assumed office as Prime Minister on April 11, 2022, garnering support from the Pakistan People’s Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, and various smaller parties under the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition. Dissident members of PTI also backed his candidacy.
  • Tenure and Economic Challenges: The PDM government remained in power until August 10, 2023. Shehbaz Sharif’s term was characterized by significant economic challenges, including high inflation, economic contraction, and a substantial devaluation of the Pakistani rupee.

Assassination Attempt on Imran Khan and Subsequent Events:

In October 2022, Imran Khan led a protest march in Punjab to demand early elections but was targeted in an assassination attempt. He later faced multiple arrest attempts, culminating in a violent arrest in May 2023. His arrest sparked nationwide riots, prompting a crackdown on the PTI by the military establishment. Subsequently, pro-establishment splinter groups emerged from within PTI, further altering the political landscape.

Controversies Surrounding Election Schedules:

  • PTI’s Premature Dissolution: In January 2023, PTI dissolved provincial assemblies in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to hasten general elections, constitutionally necessitating polls within 90 days. However, the Election Commission delayed elections to October 2023, citing funding and security concerns.
  • Legal Battles and Delayed Elections: PTI contested the Election Commission’s decision in court, leading to a Supreme Court verdict mandating elections by May 14, 2023. Despite this, elections did not occur due to nationwide riots following Imran Khan’s arrest. A new law prompted a review petition against the court’s ruling.
  • Conflicting Election Dates: The National Assembly was dissolved prematurely on August 10, 2023, with elections slated for no later than November 8, 2023. However, approval of the 2023 digital census delayed elections until February 2024 for fresh delimitations. Subsequent proposals for earlier dates led to agreements on February 8, 2024.

Nawaz Sharif’s Return and Legal Victories:

  • Return from Exile: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan in October 2023 after protective bail, allowing him to contest elections despite prior disqualifications.
  • Supreme Court Rulings: In January 2024, the Supreme Court overturned lifetime disqualification for lawmakers, enabling Sharif’s eligibility to contest elections and potentially secure a fourth term as prime minister.

PTI’s Electoral Symbol Controversy:

  • Intra-Party Election Dispute: The Election Commission denied PTI its electoral symbol due to unsatisfactory intra-party elections. Legal battles ensued, with the Supreme Court ultimately upholding the Commission’s decision, barring PTI from allocating party tickets and nominating candidates for reserved seats.

Censorship:

  • PTI’s official website and voter helpline were blocked in Pakistan before the elections, along with previous instances of social media blocks during virtual electoral events.
  • Journalists faced restrictions on covering PTI candidates, with news channels reportedly instructed to remove references to the party by individuals linked to the military establishment.

Election Day Violence:

  • Widespread internet disruptions and mobile network closures were condemned by Amnesty International as violations of freedom of expression.
  • Several polling stations experienced violence, including ballot box snatching, vandalism, and gunfire, raising concerns about the safety and integrity of the electoral process.

Electoral System:

  • The National Assembly comprises 266 general seats elected through first-past-the-post voting, 60 seats reserved for women, and 10 seats reserved for non-Muslims.
  • A bill was passed for the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the elections to address rigging allegations, but opposition parties argued against their use due to security concerns, leading to their nullification through an amendment bill.

Voting and Results Transmission:

  • Registered voters receive two paper ballots for the national and provincial assembly respectively, with results transmitted to returning officers for consolidation and provisional results announced.
  • The process includes verifying and updating voter details, with a significant increase in registered voters compared to previous elections.

Parties:

  • The table lists parties with a vote share higher than 0.5% in the 2018 elections or representation in the 15th National Assembly.
  • Independent candidates secured a notable share of the vote in 2018 and representation in the National Assembly.
NameFlagClaimed
ideology(ies)
LeaderVoteshare
in 2018
General seats won in 2018Seats before election
PTIPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf[a]
پاکستان تحريکِ انصاف
Populism
Islamic democracy
Welfarism
Civic nationalism
Imran Khan31.82%116 / 272149 / 342
PML(N)Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (نواز)
Conservatism
Economic liberalism
Federalism
Nawaz Sharif24.35%64 / 27282 / 342
PPPPakistan People’s Party
پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی
Social democracy
Islamic democracy
Progressivism
Third Way
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari13.03%43 / 27258 / 342
JUI-FJamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl)
جمیعت علماءِ اسلام (ف)
Islamism
Conservatism
Fazl-ur-Rahman4.85%11 / 27214 / 342
JIJamaat-e-Islami Pakistan
جماعت اسلامی پاکستان
Islamism
Islamic revivalism
Social conservatism
Siraj-ul-Haq1 / 2721 / 342
MQM(P)Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan
متحدہ قومی موومنٹ(پاکستان)
Liberalism
Social liberalism
Social democracy
Muhajir nationalism
Secularism
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui1.38%6 / 2727 / 342
TLPTehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan
تحریک لبیک پاکستان
IslamismFar-RightSaad Hussain Rizvi4.21%0 / 2720 / 342
AMLAwami Muslim League Pakistan
عوامی مسلم لیگ پاکستان
Islamism
Populism
Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad0.22%1 / 2721 / 342
JWPJamhoori Wattan Party
جمہوری وطن پارٹی
Baloch nationalismShahzain Bugti0.04%1 / 2721 / 342
MQM-LondonMuttahida Qaumi Movement – London[b]
متحدہ قومی موومنٹ
Social LiberalismSecularism
Muhajir Nationalism
Altaf Hussain0%0 / 2720 / 342
MQM-HMohajir Qaumi Movement Pakistan
مہاجر قومی موومنٹ پاکستان
Liberal Socialism
Secularism
Muhajir Nationalism
Afaq Ahmed0%0 / 2720 / 342
GDAGrand Democratic Alliance
گرینڈ ڈیموکریٹک الائنس
RegionalismOpposition to PPP[110]Pir of Pagaro VIII2.37%2 / 2723 / 342
ANPAwami National Party
عوامی نيشنل پارٹی
Pashtun nationalism
Democratic socialism
Secularism
Asfandyar Wali Khan1.54%1 / 2721 / 342
MWMMajlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen
مجلس وحدتِ مسلمین
Islamic Socialism
Shia-Sunni Unity
Islamic Democracy
Allama Raja Nasir Abbas0%0 / 2720 / 342
PML(Q)Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid e Azam)
پاکستان مسلم لیگ(قائد اعظم)
Conservatism
Pakistani nationalism
Shujaat Hussain0.97%4 / 2725 / 342
BAPBalochistan Awami Party
بلوچستان عوامی پارٹی
Federalism
Islamic democracy
Khalid Hussain Magsi0.60%4 / 2725 / 342
BNP(M)Balochistan National Party (Mengal)
بلوچستان نيشنل پارٹی(مینگل)
Baloch nationalism
Democratic socialism
Secularism
Akhtar Mengal0.45%3 / 2724 / 342
PML(Z)Pakistan Muslim League (Z)
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ض)
Islamism
Populism
Reformism
Ijaz-ul-Haq0 / 2720 / 342

Opinion polls

In August 2023, the ECP imposed a total ban on entrance and exit polls including those on official digital media accounts of electronic and print media outlets.[111]

Last date
of polling
Polling firmLinkPTIPML(N)PPPMMA[c]TLPOtherInd.LeadMargin
of error
Sample
size
Undecideds &
Non-voters[d]
30 June 2023Gallup PakistanPDF42%20%12%4%4%5%22%±2.5%3,50013%
3 June 2022IPOR (IRI)PDF39%33%12%7%4%5%6%±2 – 3%2,00325%
21 March 2022IPOR (IRI)PDF35%33%19%6%4%3%2%±2 – 3%3,50916%
31 January 2022Gallup PakistanPDF34%33%15%6%3%9%1%±3 – 5%5,68833%
9 January 2022IPOR (IRI)PDF31%33%17%3%3%11%1%2%±2 – 3%3,76911%
11 November 2020IPOR (IRI)PDF36%38%13%4%3%6%2%±3.22%2,00332%
13 August 2020IPOR (IRI)PDF33%38%15%3%3%8%5%±2.95%2,02426%
30 June 2020IPOR (IRI)PDF24%27%11%3%2%33%3%±2.38%1,702N/A[e]
24 June 2019Gallup PakistanPDF31%28%15%5%21%3%±3 – 5%~1,400N/A
22 November 2018IPOR (IRI)PDF43%27%15%1%1%11%1%16%±2.05%3,99122%
25 July 20182018 ElectionsECP31.8%24.3%13.0%4.8%4.2%10.3%11.5%7.5%N/A53,123,733N/A

Security Concerns and Violence:

  • The Election Commission of Pakistan categorized polling stations based on security risks, with many labeled as “sensitive” or “most sensitive.”
  • The government deployed troops in sensitive areas to prevent attacks during the election period.

Pre-Poll Violence:

  • The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan pledged to avoid attacks on election rallies but targeted candidates, resulting in fatalities.
  • Incidents of violence, including shootings and bombings, occurred during the election campaign, attributed to various militant groups.

Incidents on Election Day:

  • The government closed borders with neighboring countries and suspended mobile internet services, citing security threats.
  • Despite security measures, attacks on polling stations and security personnel were reported in several regions.

Post-Election Violence:

  • Clashes between police and protesters erupted in response to alleged electoral fraud, resulting in casualties.
  • Political figures, including Mohsin Dawar, were targeted in violent attacks following the elections.

Results:

  • Unofficial counts showed PTI-backed candidates leading in many constituencies, but official results faced delays and allegations of tampering.
  • Imran Khan claimed victory from prison, alleging tampering of results, while Nawaz Sharif sought to build a coalition government with the PPP.

Allegations of Rigging:

  • PTI leaders and losing candidates questioned the integrity of the electoral process, alleging false changes to results and military involvement.
  • Some political figures reported receiving threats after accusing the military of electoral interference.
  • International Analysis:
  • The New York Times reported surprise at the election results, noting voters’ frustration with military interference and PTI’s unexpected success.
  • The Washington Post viewed the results as a blow to Nawaz Sharif, despite military backing.
  • France 24 labeled the election as heavily rigged in favor of Nawaz Sharif, contrary to military expectations.
  • TIME highlighted the military’s failure to sideline Imran Khan and its ongoing efforts to prevent PTI’s return to power.
  • The Intercept praised the high voter turnout for overwhelming military rigging attempts, challenging its authority.
  • The Economist suggested that the military’s control over the election outcome might not have been as strong as perceived.
  • The Guardian raised suspicions of military influence due to election day disruptions but noted PTI’s effective use of social media.
  • The Financial Times quoted Khurram Husain on the collaborative efforts to thwart PTI’s rise involving the military, judiciary, and political parties.
  • The New York Post highlighted the unprecedented success of a party without military support, anticipating political turmoil.
  • The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation noted the unexpected election outcome and its impact on the elite, signaling discontent with military policies.
  • The Dhaka Tribune opined that the election results challenged the military’s attempt to sideline Imran Khan.
  • The BBC suggested PTI-backed independents might face obstacles in forming a government despite winning a majority.
  • The Wire’s interview with Najam Sethi underscored PTI’s resistance against military influence and last-minute rigging efforts.
  • First viewed the election outcome as a setback for the military, posing challenges for Western countries supporting it.
  • The Times of India and The Indian Express highlighted General Asim Munir’s perceived loss and the military’s manipulation of results.
  • The Deccan Herald predicted a potential undermining of General Munir’s position despite the military’s continued influence in politics.

Notes

  1.  Jump up to a b Contesting as independent candidates in all constituencies
  2.  Ran as Independent candidates under panel name “Wafa Parast Group”
  3.  Certain polls only include data for the JUI(F) instead of the MMA. In those cases, data for the JUI(F) is used because the JUI(F) is the largest constituent party of the MMA and makes up most of its base.
  4.  This is a column that lists the percentage of undecided voters and non-voters in certain polls that publish this data. As some polls do not publish any data on undecided voters and non-voters, the columns with survey participants who had a preference when polled are all that is needed to reach 100%. In surveys that do include data on non-voters and undecided voters, a scaling factor is applied to the margin of error and the rest of the data (for example, if the number of undecideds and non-voters equals 20%, each party would have their vote share scaled up by a factor of 100/80 (the formula is 100/(100-UndecidedPercentage)). This is done to keep consistency between the different polls and the types of data they provide.
  5.  This poll or crosstabulation did not include any data about undecided voters or non-voters and cut them out completely from the published results.

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