In the 2024 elections, Pakistan saw a close race between the three main blocs: Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). While PTI won the majority of seats, they may be excluded from negotiating to form a government coalition due to statements made by Army Chief Syed Asim Munir. Munir emphasized the need for Pakistan to “break away from the policy of anarchy and polarization which is not befitting of a progressive country.”
Despite this setback, Imran Khan’s party has exceeded expectations, with independent candidates supported by him winning at least 99 seats. PML-N obtained 71 seats, and PPP is third with 53 seats. The former prime minister’s party released an AI-generated video showing him claiming victory in the elections. In this video, Imran Khan says “I congratulate all of you for winning the 2024 elections.”
The election campaign was marked by accusations of “pre-election fraud” and the marginalization of popular figures like Imran Khan, who was currently serving a prison sentence and was not allowed to appear on the ballot papers. Many believe that delays in counting have only increased suspicions of manipulation. The closure of mobile phone and internet services by the authorities has also fueled doubts about the fairness of the elections. Protests took place in Peshawar after Washington and London expressed concerns about the conduct of the elections.
In order to form a government coalition, all options remain open for PTI, PML-N, and PPP. Nawaz Sharif invited other successful parties and candidates to work with his party, while Imran Khan’s party achieved unexpected success despite being banned from appearing on ballot papers as independents. Smaller parties won 27 seats in total and could attract attention from these three main blocs in upcoming negotiations.