14.02.2024 Author: Taut Bataut

Pakistan into a Post-Election Crisis

Pakistan into a Post-Election Crisis

General elections were conducted in Pakistan on February 8, 2024. People and analysts around the world were seeing the elections with skepticism due to the alleged role of non-democratic forces in these elections. Leaders of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) were incarcerated before the elections due to the charges of vandalism that the party workers committed on 9th May 2023. This resulted in shifting the tilt of the country’s establishment in favor of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). People inside the country and analysts around the world already had an idea that Pakistan’s establishment wanted to bring the PML(N) into power. Most of the PTI candidates were not able to conduct their election campaign properly because of the looming threat of being arrested. However, the party did a commendable campaign on different social media platforms. PTI even its party symbol just days before the election as it was unable to conduct intra-party elections according to the guidelines given by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Different national and international analysts held that the establishment is victimizing PTI over some past clashes. However, PTI is the most popular political party in the country. Pakistan’s two most famous parties, PML and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have been ruling the country for decades. Both parties earned a bad reputation during their rules due to their unpopular policies and corruption charges over their top-tier leadership. Pakistan’s population mostly comprises youth. According to Al-Jazeera, 2/3rd out of 241 million population of Pakistan is under 30 years of age. Youngsters in the country abhor both parties, as Pakistan was lagging much behind other regional countries during their recent rules. Moreover, Pakistan’s youth was also unhappy with the ever-rising US influence over the country during the governments of both these political parties. This created a vacuum for a third party, with a clean past. PTI emerged with the slogan of change inside the country.

PTI’s party manifesto resonated well with the unsatisfied youth of the country. The top leadership of the party also promised the people to manage relations with other countries, especially the United States of America, on the basis of equality. These promises attracted masses throughout the country. Moreover, the country’s establishment, before the 2018 elections and during the tenure of the PTI government, also helped the party covertly. However, this PTI and establishment nexus did not survive much longer. PTI once again gained popularity among the masses due to its anti-establishment narrative. Despite huge difficulties, the PTI’s voters showed huge support for the party on election day. The majority of seats are won by the PTI-backed independent candidates in the recent general elections. However, PTI and other political parties claimed that many of the elections were rigged in favor of their opponents. These parties are even showing Form 45, a form containing the number of votes each candidate has taken, issued by the presiding officer of each polling station, at the end of the polling day, as evidence of their victory. However, the final results issued by the ECP show contradictory results.

Although the majority of seats are won by the PTI-backed independent candidates. However, no party has gained a simple majority in the country. PML-N seeks to make government in the country. Allegedly, the country’s establishment also wants PML-N to come into power. On the other hand, the PPP is also vying for sitting on the government benches in the parliament. All three major parties are looking towards smaller parties to gain the majority numbers necessary for making government in the country. ECP’s decision to strip away the party symbol of PTI has opened the doors of horse-trading in the country. PML-N and PPP are contending to gain the support of independent candidates. According to local news channels, around a dozen independent victorious candidates have already joined the PML-N. Chances are high that more independent victorious candidates will also follow and join either side. However, the country is currently in a huge post-electoral crisis. All the three major parties are vying for power. Most likely, the PML-N will form a coalition government in Pakistan. However, any coalition government is highly unlikely to survive in the long term, considering the political polarization in the country.

The inflation rate in the country is around 30 percent. The IMF’s $3 billion bailout package which the previous government had gained is about to expire soon. A huge number of the country’s skilled youth have already fled abroad in search of employment. The current political polarization will further exacerbate the economic plight of Pakistan. In addition, the country will also struggle to gain another IMF bailout package due to internal chaos and political instability. Terrorism has also surged in Pakistan over the last two years. Terrorist groups will find more space to operate inside the country and from across the border due to political instability in Pakistan. Unfortunately, these allegedly rigged elections will bring more chaos and instability to the country.


Taut Bataut – is a researcher and writer that publishes on South Asian geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine  “New Eastern Outlook”.

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