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Post General Elections 2024

The general elections in Pakistan, which took place on February 8th, 2024, have left the nation in political disarray. Though the dust has largely settled with respect to the voting, the way forward is still unclear, encompassing coalition talks, claims of vote-rigging, and widespread unrest.

A Hung Parliament: No Clear Winner

In the lower house of parliament, known as the National Assembly, no party won a clear majority. This hung parliament has cast doubt on the formation of a steady government. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the largest single party, capturing 75 seats, followed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which took 54 seats. Neither party, though, reached the 137 seats needed for a bare majority.

Coalition Talks and Power Politics

As both PML-N and PPP scramble to forge a coalition government, backchannel talks are their main channel of operation. It is the small parties and independent candidates who hold the key to reigns of power and if and with whom they affiliate, will determine political balance in Pakistan over the next term or possibly the next five years. But with competing interests and historic rivalries, forging a stable coalition is anything but easy.

Accusations of Electoral Irregularities and Protests

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, has raised concerns about voting irregularities in certain constituencies, and called for fresh elections. PTI is alleging large-scale electoral fraud and is demanding a complete investigation. The General elections were allegedly rigged. Public protests have nevertheless erupted in several cities. The party is now alleging electoral manipulation on a scale unfathomable in most democracies.

Uncertain Future: Challenges and Opportunities

Pakistan encounters a series of daunting tasks after the general election. Establishing a functional government, alleviating economic hardships, fighting security problems, and strengthening national cohesion are urgent issues, to name just a few. Nonetheless, within the turbulence of politics these days, a chance to talk, negotiate, and find consensus also arises.

Looking Ahead: A Call for Collaboration and Compromise

The future of Pakistan’s politics relies heavily on how Pakistan’s leaders can handle the current crisis with wisdom and democratic accountability. They must be willing to keep open lines of talk with one another, to make the electoral process transparent, and to put paramount the nation’s welfare before their own parties. Pakistan can extract herself from this maze and move in the direction of security and peace, but only with vigorous cooperation and the habit of concession.

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