As Pakistan awaits the outcome of its 2024 general election, early results paint a picture of a closely contested race, with candidates from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) locked in a fierce battle for supremacy.
The release of results commenced nearly 12 hours after the conclusion of polling for the national and provincial assemblies on Thursday. However, the electoral process was marred by incidents of violence perpetrated by armed groups and the widely criticized suspension of mobile phone services, sparking allegations of “political engineering” and raising concerns about the integrity of the election.
According to reports from the military, at least 12 individuals lost their lives, with 39 others sustaining injuries in attacks aimed at disrupting the voting process. Despite these challenges, Pakistan’s electorate, numbering over 128 million registered voters, turned out to elect representatives to the National Assembly and the nation’s four provincial legislatures.
Understanding the mechanics of the voting process in Pakistan, each voter possesses the opportunity to cast two votes – one for the National Assembly and another for the provincial assembly. The National Assembly, comprising 336 seats, allocates 266 seats through direct voting, while 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for minorities, based on a 5 percent proportional representation in the federal parliament.
For a party or coalition to ascend to power, a minimum of 134 seats is required. The breakdown of national seats reflects the results of the national census conducted in 2023, with significant changes observed in the delimitation process, leading to alterations in constituency boundaries and a reduction in the total number of seats from 272 to 266.
The allocation of seats across Pakistan’s provinces stands as follows:
- Punjab: 141 seats
- Sindh: 61 seats
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 45 seats
- Balochistan: 16 seats
- Islamabad Capital Territory: 3 seats
As the nation eagerly awaits the culmination of the electoral process and the unveiling of final results, the atmosphere remains charged with anticipation and scrutiny. Stay tuned for further updates as Pakistan navigates through the aftermath of its 2024 general election.