Pakistani Opposition Party Claims Election Victory

Pakistani Opposition Party Claims Election Victory

The recent parliamentary elections in Pakistan have seen not one, but two parties claiming victory. The opposition party, Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by the currently incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan, has declared itself the winner. This news comes after the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), the party of another former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, made the same claim.

At a press conference held in Islamabad, PTI chairman Gohar Khan confidently stated, “We have the majority and want to form the next government.” In the same breath, he accused the opposition of electoral fraud, urging the nation’s institutions to uphold and respect the will of the voters.

Two days post-election, the nation faces the complicated task of forming a government. Sharif, despite being widely considered the favored choice, was unable to secure a majority for his party. With 95 percent of the constituencies now accounted for, they hold only 71 seats in parliament. Surprisingly, independent candidates, many of whom are believed to have ties to Imran Khan and the PTI, have secured 100 of the 266 seats.

Despite this, Sharif’s PML-N has already initiated coalition talks with the third-placed popular party PPP, led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardar, in hopes of forming a government. There might be attempts to woo potential defectors among the independent candidates to secure a majority. Forming an alliance with a smaller party is also a potential option for them.

The elections in Pakistan were plagued by violence and a suspension of mobile and internet services, which activists claim prevented some citizens from casting their votes.

The country, established over 75 years ago, is currently grappling with a severe economic crisis and soaring inflation. Throughout its history, Pakistan has been marred by instability and unrest, situated as it is between India and Afghanistan. The military has held power for more than half of the country’s existence, often playing a major role in shaping political landscapes, even during civilian governments.

In light of these events, Pakistani army chief Asim Munir has urged political leaders to put the needs of the people above their own. He emphasized the importance of the nation being in “safe hands” capable of “a healing power to break the policy of anarchy and polarization.”