Pakistan gets an interim government as country gears up for elections

Pakistan gets an interim government as country gears up for elections

Pakistan’s National Assembly will be dissolved today and replaced by an interim government ahead of the July 25 general election.

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Photo: PT

Pakistan’s National Assembly will be dissolved today and replaced by an interim government ahead of the July 25 general election.

Today’s milestone is only the second time a Pakistani parliament has maintained power for a full five-year session, creating hope for a smooth election process.

The current ruling party, Shehbaz Sharif’s centre-right Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is favoured to clinch victory once more come July 25. The PML-N won 166 of 342 assembly seats in 2013, needing just six more for outright majority.

However, Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf party could capitalise on former PML-N leader and PM Nawaz Sharif’s 2017 corruption conviction and force its way into government. Tehrik-e-Insaf will need a strong electoral showing and a coalition deal with smaller parties. The election once seemed headed for a PML-N sweep, but political pundits are now divided in their outcome predictions.

If Khan pulls off the upset victory, expect Pakistan to adopt heavily nationalist, anti-US stances. He has also pledged to achieve peace with Afghanistan, criticising the PML-N’s failed peace attempts. As Beijing is allied with both Islamabad and Kabul, Khan’s election could create some regional stability with China’s backing.

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