11 Feb 2024

Pakistan Election Results: How Imran Khan secured unexpected win, triumphing over legal challenges, military hurdles

Three days after the general elections in Pakistan, the Election Commission finally disclosed the results of the national and provincial assemblies. In the recent result, independent candidates secured 101 seats, with 93 of them aligning with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI), led by Imran Khan. 

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif's party) secured the second position with 75 seats, while Pakistan People's Party and MQM Pakistan obtained 54 and 17 seats, respectively.

The general elections took place on February 8, occurring nine months after Imran Khan's arrest, where he was sentenced to 31 years in prison in three separate cases just five days before the election. The Election Commission of Pakistan even revoked Khan's party's election symbol, the bat, and imposed a ban on its campaigning. Therefore PTI could not contest the elections. Instead it was forced to field its candidates as independents.

Despite these challenges and attempts by the military to erase Khan's influence, independent candidates supporting Imran secured a surprising 93 seats. The Election Commission of Pakistan revealed the delayed results 67 hours after the elections.

Imran Khan Gained Sympathy Votes

Imran Khan faced consecutive sentences and even had his marriage declared illegal in the run-up to the elections, generating sympathy among the Pakistani people. After Imran was jailed, a survey revealed that people liked his party more. Even in jail, Imran Khan kept in touch with people in some way or the other. He was successful in conveying his messages from jail. He was successful in convincing people that his government fell due to the interference of the Army and America. Therefore, people began to sympathize with Khan, which is now visible in the results.

Nawaz's Waning Popularity

Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan just four months before the elections after a four-year absence. However, he did not hold significant rallies and didn't engage with the public. During Nawaz's absence, Imran Khan succeeded in tarnishing Nawaz's image over corruption. This was an important reason that although Imran remained in jail and Nawaz was free, people chose independent candidates supporting PTI.

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