Imran Khan has called for new general elections to be held in Pakistan after the resounding success of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in the important Punjab assembly by-elections. These elections were a major setback for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, whose son Hamza Shehbaz is on the verge of losing his position as chief minister. Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, registered an impressive electoral victory.
An election for the position of chief minister will be place on July 22 in accordance with an order from the Supreme Court, and the joint candidate of the PTI and the PMLQ, Chaudhary Parvez Elahi, is expected to be elected as the next chief minister of the politically significant province of Punjab.
So far, according to the unofficial results, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has won 16 seats, while Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has only won three. An independent candidate also won.
In a tweet sent out on Sunday, PTI chairman Khan commended party workers and voters of Punjab for defeating what he described not only PML-N candidates, but the whole state apparatus, including harassment by police and an Election Commission of Pakistan that was “completely biassed.”
In addition, he congratulated the PTI’s coalition partners, the PML-Q, the Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).
“The only way to go ahead from this point is to organise elections that are fair and free under the supervision of an ECP that is trustworthy. “Any alternative road would only lead to more political instability and worse economic catastrophe,” said Khan, who was removed from his position as prime minister in April after he was defeated in a vote of confidence in the House of Parliament.
The prominent leader of the PTI party, Asad Umar, said that Khan will outline the party plan after a meeting of the core committee on Monday.
According to him, the PML-N has only one choice left at this point, and that is to “immediately call for new general elections.” The party led by the Sharifs that is now in power, the PML-N, has conceded defeat and even congratulated the chairman of the PTI on his party’s ‘landslide win’ in the by-elections.
“We accept the mandate that the people have given us. Malik Ahmad Khan, the spokesman for the Prime Minister, told PTI that “now we invite the PTI-PMLQ to establish the government in Punjab.”
In response to a query on whether or not the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will dissolve the National Assembly in order to schedule early general elections, he said that “the PML-N leadership would decide about it in consultation with its partners.” Maryam Nawaz, the vice president of the PML-N, has also admitted that her party has lost. In a tweet, Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam, urged that the PML-N should “accept our loss with an open heart.”
At the very least, Tehreek-e-Insaf is going to win 15 seats. Khan said in a tweet that “it is extremely vital for all of our people who are on duty at all polling sites to not leave their location till the official results are acquired from the returning officers.”
In the early hours of Sunday, by-elections were conducted for 20 assembly seats in Punjab, and although there were few instances of violence, the process overall was very quiet. A large number of police officers were stationed in five “sensitive” constituencies in Lahore and Multan respectively.