Pakistan’s parliamentary elections, held on Thursday, February 8th, from 8 am to 5 pm nationwide, have not yet produced final results. Pakistani media has described the noticeable delay in announcing the final election results as “unprecedented,” sparking considerable reactions across various media outlets.
Initial results of the parliamentary elections in Pakistan, released yesterday, indicate that candidates supporting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party led by Imran Khan secured 97 seats, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by Nawaz Sharif obtained 66 seats, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Bhutto secured 51 seats.
Despite the delay in announcing the final election results, the PTI has warned as the frontrunner in these elections, that if the results are not declared, they will call for protests. The PML-N, led by Nawaz Sharif, has also taken steps towards forming a coalition government, with leaders of this party and the PPP reaching agreements.
The preliminary results of these elections and the unprecedented delay in announcing the final results have prompted reactions. Leaders of the PTI and PML-N separately claimed victory, but foreign media focused on Pakistan’s military’s role in these elections.
According to Voice of America’s report, while Pakistan’s military wields significant power and influence in the country’s political affairs, Pakistani experts believe that the election results show that the general public does not attach importance to the military’s policies.
Earlier speculation revolved around the possibility that the Pakistan Muslim League, which enjoys military support in this round of elections, might win the majority of votes. However, preliminary results indicate that the military-supported party is significantly behind the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and experts believe these results send a clear message to the military.
Voice of America, citing Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst, reported: “The fact that candidates supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have obtained what votes they have, sends a message to the (Pakistan military) that their policies are not acceptable to the general public.”
Another issue receiving media attention is the formation of a coalition government because, according to evidence from the Pakistan election results, no party in Thursday’s elections was able to secure a majority of seats sufficient for forming a government alone, making the ground for a coalition government formation.