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“Political Crisis Will Continue”: Close Contest in Pakistan Amid Election Crackdown

Written by on 09/02/2024

Initial election results in Pakistan show a lead for candidates affiliated with imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan’s political party was blocked from running for office, and supporters have accused Pakistan’s military-backed interim government of trying to rig the election by shutting down cellphone and internet services just as voting began and by delaying election results. “It’s up in the air exactly how many seats each party has got,” says journalist Munizae Jahangir, who reports from Karachi that “there is no clarity” on who won, despite substantial voter turnout. “Irrespective of the results, the political crisis that we’re seeing in Pakistan is going to continue,” says Pakistani political activist Alia Amirali, who describes the long history of military interference with democratic processes in the country. “It’s not that people’s votes don’t matter; it’s just that the military will certainly manipulate the results.”

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