Pakistan This Saturday dawned with great uncertainty after the election results of a highly contested general election, with three opposing political groups grouping the majority of the supports, one in the hands of the imprisoned opposition Imran Khanalthough none of them alone have sufficient majority to form a new Government.
The results of the Electoral Commission of Pakistan They gave the greatest victory to a group of almost a hundred independent candidatesmost of them collaborators of the former prime minister and opposition leader, Imran Khanimprisoned in a military barracks, with more than a hundred pending cases and three prison sentences.
With 15 seats still to be defined, the independents have 99 seats in the National Assembly (NA, Parliament), of the 265 in dispute. This is the main group, however still far from the 133 seats necessary to form a government. Behind them are the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of the three-time prime minister and Khan’s main rival, Nawaz Sharif with 73 seats; and then the 53 elected parliamentarians of the former foreign minister’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
The possibility of an alliance between Sharif and Bhutto-Zardari began to take shape this Saturday after the two leaders met this morning, also in the company of former Pakistani president President Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto-Zardari’s father.
The PML-N and the PPP formed an interim coalition government after Khan was removed from power by a no-confidence motion in April 2022. However, on the eve of these elections, Bhutto-Zardari had hinted that she would not form part of a Sharif government. In any case, for this possible alliance, the 15 seats to be defined and the winners of the small parties are still fundamental, since the PML-N and the PPP only have 126 parliamentary votes at the moment.
“We are in contact with the leadership of the PPP and other small parties. Asking them to join us to form a government and we hope to reach a conclusion soon,” PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb told EFE.
For their part, the independents are almost all men loyal to Khan, and his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who entered the race independently forced by a decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan that stripped the formation of its electoral symbols a month before the elections.
Although PTI members had to register in the race as independents, their loyalty to Khan and the party, and therefore they are counted as a single group.
Despite his isolation, Khan addressed a message this Friday to his followers to proclaim his victory with a video made with artificial intelligence (AI) which simulated the usual speeches of the former cricket star turned politician. “Despite repression and injustices for more than two years, we have won the 2024 elections with a two-thirds majority,” says Khan’s message, which is in fact a leaked voice recording from prison recreated with AI with images of the opponent before his imprisonment last August.
Now eyes are on Khan and the PTI, who vehemently assure that they will not make alliances with their rivals, and who instead assure that the results have been manipulated and that his forces won 140 seats.
“We are going to present about 100 petitions in court to challenge the results that have been manipulated, as the world has seen,” PTI member Ahmed Janjua told EFE.
The victory of Khan’s allies at the polls was a great surprise for Pakistan, which assumed that the imprisonment, the judicial attack, and the dismantling of the party would seriously weaken the opposition despite all its popularity.