Political transition in Pakistan after elections

By: Syed Abdul Basit

The eagerly anticipated elections have unfolded in Pakistan, signifying the culmination of a significant period. Despite widespread doubts and conjectures, the groundless rumours hinting at the delay in elections have been unequivocally debunked. While caretaker administrations dutifully oversaw affairs across all four provinces and the federal level, the necessity of an elected government remained paramount for upholding democratic values and advancing national interests on the international stage.

Amidst daunting challenges and looming threats, including heightened terrorism and security alerts, the electoral process pressed forward amid less-than-ideal conditions. Moreover, the resolutions advocating for the postponement of elections due to security concerns and adverse weather conditions in specific regions of Pakistan were passed in the Senate with minimal attendance by its members.

This time, the circumstances posed significant challenges for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Imran Khan, the founding chairman of PTI, was in jail during elections. He was convicted in three cases just days before the elections, his wife has also been convicted.

The results of recently concluded electoral process are out, delineating a National Assembly characterized by a mosaic of representation.

With all the factors at play, it becomes abundantly clear that no single party possesses a clear majority, inevitably leading to the formation of a coalition government by whichever parties manage to clinch it. In a significant development, the PML N and PPP forged a foundational agreement on political collaboration for government formation.

On the flip side, firmly asserting their right to govern in both Punjab and KPK, in addition to the centre, by their claimed majority, PTI leaders exude confidence in their capacity, astutely navigating the shifting political terrain. However, it is imperative to underscore that these candidates currently stand as independent entities and must undergo a stringent process to align themselves with a political party within three days of assuming office as assembly members. That’s why Independent candidates backed by PTI joined Sunni Ithad Council (SIC).

In the aftermath of the elections, amid widespread allegations of electoral malpractice, it is noteworthy that some candidates have graciously accepted their defeat, reflecting a commitment to democratic principles and sportsmanship despite the prevailing challenges and controversies surrounding the electoral process.

There were notable irregularities observed during the elections, including the shutdown of mobile services and disruptions in internet connectivity, which significantly inconvenienced the public and the elections commission, which has claimed the same reason as the prime reason for obtaining results from returning officers.

The delayed announcement of results further compounded the challenges, prompting the Election Commission to address a barrage of inquiries, which it finally responded to a day prior. The Commission emphasized that the disruption in mobile services severely hampered the coordination and transmission of election results. While comparing the 2018 and 2024 elections, he said that the first result of the 2018 elections was received at 4 am the following day, this time it was received at 2 am. Despite the obstacles, the Election Commission noted that, except for a few constituencies, the election results were finalized within one and a half days, contrasting with the three-day duration in 2018.

Protests have erupted in several regions of the country, disrupting public life. It is paramount to underscore the importance of resolving disputes through legal avenues. Candidates who choose to pursue legal recourse, such as filing petitions, should respect the judicial process and allow the matters to be adjudicated in the appropriate tribunals and courts.

Amidst the post-election landscape, it is imperative for all political parties and stakeholders to recognize that Pakistan is grappling with not only political turmoil but also economic challenges, both of which are interlinked. These elections were anticipated to usher in political stability, offering a glimmer of hope.

However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that no single party has garnered a definitive majority in these elections. Consequently, political parties are actively involved in negotiations, forging alliances, and convening meetings to form the government.

The dust of pre-election chaos is gradually settling, revealing a semblance of clarity. In politics, certainty is elusive, and nothing is final. In the intricate landscape of politics, it’s paramount for every party to approach alliances with meticulous care, especially during tumultuous times.

There should be no “dead end” in politics; the notion of ‘deadlock’ is nonexistent, and every political party must internalize this crucial lesson.

The writer is student of International relations in university of Azad Jammu and Kashmir


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