Pakistan election results

Pakistan election results
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro, 2024


Eleni Patlaka

Pakistan Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence

The February parliamentary elections took place in a generally chaotic situation. The political instability and lack of transparency that have plagued Pakistan were compounded by significant problems during the electoral process. In particular, significant was the Election Commission's decision to ban the use of certain symbols, such as the cricket bat (Shahzad, 2024). This decision made the process difficult in rural areas where illiteracy rates reach 42% (Hakimi, 2024). Furthermore, in some areas, men did not allow their wives to participate in the elections (AFP Dawn, 2024). Finally, on the day of the elections, a blackout was imposed on mobile phone and internet services to prevent possible terrorist attacks. These circumstances limited voters turnout, the ability to record the results and delayed the announcement of the results (Hakimi, 2024).

The results were surprising. In particular, independent candidates linked to the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of the imprisoned Khan won 93 seats. In second place was the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which won 75 seats. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari came third with 54 seats (Yong, 2024).

However, no party has won the required number of seats to form a government. There are at least four possible scenarios for the next day. The first is likely to be a coalition between the PML-N and the PPP, as happened in the 2022 elections. In this case, cooperation with other smaller parties will be necessary. In the second, there could be cooperation between the PTI - which won the largest number of seats - and the PPP. In the third scenario, there is evidence of cooperation between the two parties that won the most seats, the PTI and the PML-N. This seems unlikely because of the many obstacles the PML-N has put in the way of the PTI, such as the removal of symbols. Finally, the fourth scenario advocates that the PTI's independent candidates join a party with less support. In any case, the decision has to be made by February 29th (Yong, 2024).

Sources and further reading:

AFP Dawn (2024). Educated women in Punjab’s Dhurnal barred from voting by husbands. [online] DAWN.COM. Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2024].

Hakimi, H. (2024). Who can form a government in Pakistan’s post-election chaos? The answer isn’t straightforward. The Guardian. [online] 12 Feb. Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2024].

Shahzad, A. (2024). Why Pakistan election symbols are important. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2024].

Yong, N. (2024). Pakistan election: What happens after Imran Khan vote surprise? [online] 12 Feb. Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2024].

Photo Source

Soomro, A. (2024) A voter with an ink mark on the thumb goes through paperwork to cast a vote during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan. Reuters. Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2024].