Imran Khan has called for new general elections in Pakistan after his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party easily defeated the ruling Pakistan Muslim League party in the crucial Punjab assembly by-elections, dealing a major blow to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, whose son Hamza Shehbaz is set to lose his post as chief minister.
On the order of the Supreme Court, the election for chief minister will be held on July 22, and PTI-PMLQ joint candidate Chaudhary Parvez Elahi is expected to be the new chief minister of the politically important province of Punjab.
According to unofficial results, the PTI has won 15 seats, while Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has only four. An independent candidate also prevailed.
In a tweet on Sunday, PTI chairman Khan thanked party workers and voters in Punjab for defeating “not just PML-N candidates, but the entire state machinery,” referring to harassment by police and a completely biased Election Commission of Pakistan.
He also expressed gratitude to the PTI’s allies, the Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).
The only way forward from here is to hold free and fair elections under the supervision of a credible ECP. Any other path will only lead to more political uncertainty and economic chaos, according to Khan, who was ousted as prime minister in April after losing a confidence vote in Parliament.
Asad Umar, senior leader of the PTI party, stated that Khan would announce the party strategy following a meeting of the core committee on Monday.
He stated that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz now has just one alternative, which is to “quickly call for new general elections.”