Pakistan’s PTI party set to contest Punjab provincial elections

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party will today contest the Punjab provincial by-elections. Today’s 20 contested seats became vacant during the

The PTI party, lead by former PM Imran Khan, will contest the Punjab provincial by-elections today. | Photo: Reuters

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party will today contest the Punjab provincial by-elections.

Today’s 20 contested seats became vacant during the follow-on political upheaval in Punjab province, after the ousting of Prime Minister Imran Khan. This election determines which party—the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) or the PTI—will gain a majority and form the Punjab provincial government. PML-N needs 9 seats to win a majority and PTI need 13 seats.

There is a larger political fight happening in Pakistan. Ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan leads the PTI and is building an anti-establishment narrative against the Pakistani military—which Khan blames for his ouster—and the new PM Shehbaz Sharif’s PML-N. As Pakistan is fighting internally, the country also faces a host of geopolitical issues. A slowdown in Chinese investment, an ongoing energy crisis, and an increasingly unstable economy are all leading to increased instability in the country.

A PTI win today may further stall Pakistan’s ability to address its geopolitical issues. With the political momentum, Khan will likely call for new general elections drawing out Pakistan’s internal political fight. A PML-N victory may allow Pakistan breathing room to address the larger systemic and geopolitical issues that It faces.

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