How the 2024 Pakistan General Election has Unfolded so Far

Pakistan’s general election has had the world watching, with allegations of vote rigging and leaders claiming victory.

It seems likely that a coalition government will be formed.

February 8, 2024, marked a key moment in Pakistan’s political landscape as voters decide on who they want to lead the country.

The aftermath saw Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party grappling with arrests.

There were also denouncements and a ban on their participation in the upcoming elections.

Despite these hurdles, candidates affiliated with Imran Khan’s PTI, are now running as independents.

“Voting concluded on Thursday amidst escalating militant attacks and allegations of electoral misconduct.”

This backdrop was coupled with a delay in the Election Commission’s final poll announcement.

It fuelled concerns about the integrity of votes and the potential for a coalition government due to deep-seated political divisions.

The main electoral battle unfolded between the PML-N party and candidates supported by ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Both factions have claimed victory, despite not winning a majority.

However, scepticism surrounds the counting, with independents initially leading and allegations of rigging surfacing.

It seems likely that a coalition government will be formed.

This uncertainty adds a layer of complexity to the evolving political landscape.

Pakistan’s army chief congratulated the country for the “successful conduct” of elections.

The military’s role in Pakistan’s politics has long been a point of contention.

The international community, including the US, UK and EU, expressed concerns about the electoral process, urging investigations into reported irregularities.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron emphasised concerns over internet restrictions on polling day and significant delays in election results.

He said: “The UK urges authorities in Pakistan to uphold fundamental human rights, including free access to information, and the rule of law.”

New York Times wrote: “The military has often meddled in election cycles to pave the way for its preferred candidates and to winnow the field of competitors.

“Imran Khan is the clearest case of political engineering gone wrong; the army became the victim of its own engineering.”

As tight races and delayed results unfolded, fears among Khan’s supporters heightened, suspecting potential vote tampering.

The most recent event was a press conference by Chairman PTI, barrister Gohar Ali Khan.

Barrister Gohar has given a deadline to ECP to announce all results according to Form 45.

He also said that he and his party would conduct protests outside the RO offices.

Gohar Ali Khan told the media that they would not make any alliance with PML-N and PPP.

“The protests will be peaceful.”

The citizens of Pakistan reacted very strongly in response.

One person said: “Pakistan army has never won any war and never lost any election. Winning streak continues.”

Another stated: “Good luck selling the legitimacy of these sham elections to the world.”

One declared: “Civilian supremacy taking its due course. Competent civilians must preside over all the civilian institutes.”

Many sided with PTI and mocked PML-N and PPP. Videos on the alleged rigging are being circulated online.

People wasting votes at polling stations and officers stamping on multiple ballot papers can be clearly seen in these posts.

Moreover, the results were stopped for some reason.

People from other parties, who were clearly losing before somehow got hundreds of thousands of votes shortly.

How the 2024 Pakistan General Election has Unfolded so Far f

Earlier, the use of the electoral symbol of PTI, which was a bad sign, was withdrawn.

Many claim this was an attempt to prevent the uninformed faction of the public from casting their votes for PTI.

However, the strategy seems to have failed as people backed by PTI continued to compete in elections independently.

The majority of seats in the National Assembly have been won by independent candidates, followed closely by PML-N.

One said: “Imran Khan 180 not out.”

Another remarked: “Never seen a leader with such power, Imran Khan was in jail but even to rig the elections it took them two days.”

One marvelled:

“Getting a two-thirds majority while sitting in jail and that too without any electoral sign is called Imran Khan!”

However, many are speculating that the independent candidates will be “bought off” by those from other parties.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari has already arrived in Islamabad to start paying visits to the successful candidates.

Presently, the public is speaking up against the way these elections were held, calling the whole ordeal “a big joke”.

The international community watches closely as Pakistan navigates a critical juncture in its democratic journey.

Ayesha is a film and drama student who adores music, arts and fashion. Being highly ambitious, her motto for life is, "Even the Impossible spells I'm Possible"

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