Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024
Pakistan's Political Future Hangs in the Balance! General Elections Set for January 2024 

Pakistan’s Political Future Hangs in the Balance! General Elections Set for January 2024

Pakistan’s Political Future Hangs in the Balance! General Elections Set for January 2024

General elections in Pakistan delayed till January 2024 amid political crisis

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has officially announced that the much-awaited general elections will now be held in the last week of January 2024. The elections, initially scheduled for October this year, were postponed due to the early exit of Shehbaz Sharif. To strengthen the electoral process, the ECP will unveil the preliminary list of constituencies on September 27. Subsequently, taking into account the feedback and complaints regarding the preliminary lists, the final list will be published on November 30.

Caretaker government

A caretaker government was formed in August this year following the premature resignation of the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition. This change caused an additional one month delay in the voting schedule. The previous government had also stipulated that elections could be held only after census and delimitation. However, the recent census required a speedy delimitation process to follow constitutional guidelines. The upcoming elections will take place amid a political crisis that has seen former Prime Minister Imran Khan jailed and a major crackdown against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar has assured the public of the interim government’s commitment to preserving the democratic process by holding general elections without any delay.

Imran Khan’s legal battle

Imran Khan, who was removed from the post of Prime Minister, faces serious charges of “criminal conspiracy” related to inciting attacks on military installations and encouraging insurgency. These charges carry a maximum penalty of death. Khan’s arrest earlier this year led to widespread anti-government protests and damage to government and military facilities. Khan and several PTI leaders and workers have been charged with various crimes including incitement and attempt to rebel. He is in Attock jail since August 5, 2023 and is currently seeking bail after his arrest in a cipher case related to a missing diplomatic document. The situation surrounding Khan’s legal battle remains the focal point of the political scene in Pakistan.

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