Imran Khan’s supporters may have won a majority of seats in the elections, but they could be excluded from negotiating to form a government coalition due to statements made by Army Chief Syed Asim Munir. The former prime minister’s party has exceeded expectations with independent candidates supported by him winning at least 99 seats. Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) obtained 71 seats, and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is third with 53 seats.
Despite this, Imran Khan released an AI-generated video showing him claiming victory in the elections. In the video, he says “I congratulate all of you for winning the 2024 elections.” However, fifteen of the 266 seats up for grabs in this election have yet to be filled, which means that the three main blocs will have to negotiate alliances in order to form a government.
In the absence of an absolute majority, all options remain open for the three main blocs to form alliances. Nawaz Sharif invited other successful parties and candidates to work with his party after achieving unexpected success. Although Imran Khan’s party achieved unexpected success, they were not allowed to appear on the ballot papers as his candidates ran as independents. The smaller parties won 27 seats in total and could attract the PTI’s attention in the coming days.
For Imran Khan’s voters, many believe that their victory was stolen from them due to delays in counting and doubts about fairness fueled by the closure of mobile phone and internet services by authorities during the election campaign. The election campaign was marked by accusations of “pre-election fraud” and marginalization of popular candidate Imran Khan who is currently serving a prison sentence and was not allowed to appear on ballot papers. On Friday, Washington and London expressed concerns about the conduct of these elections while protests took place in Peshawar capital against alleged irregularities.
In summary, despite their success in winning a majority of seats in the elections, Imran Khan’s supporters could still face exclusion from negotiating a government coalition due to comments made by Army Chief Syed Asim Munir emphasizing breaking away from policies of anarchy and polarization. All options remain open for forming coalitions among Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Smaller parties that won 27 seats along with independent candidates supported by Imran Khan.
The election results also sparked protests across Pakistan as people expressed their dissatisfaction with delays in counting results and concerns about fairness fueled by closure of mobile phones and internet services during campaigning period.