Pakistan: Former PM Imran Khan Dominates By-elections

    Photo: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • On Sunday, former Pakistani PM Imran Khan led his party to victory in a set of by-elections that saw him win six out of seven contested National Assembly seats. The seats that were balloted on were some of the eight positions vacated in April, when Khan was forced out of office and his political allies were prompted to resign.

    • The results are likely to intensify the former PM's calls for early general elections, with Khan arguing they indicate that he - along with the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party he leads - has popular support.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The Pakistani people have made it clear that they support Khan and reject the current, foreign-imposed government. It's now time for usurpers to concede their failure and comply with the national call for general elections. If they are not given this democratic right, the people of Pakistan are ready to take to the streets.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    State institutions were used to attack Khan's rivals during his term, but he now claims that he had no decision-making power during his tenure and even alleges that he is the one being persecuted. Although these by-elections suggest that Khan's lies and accusations have been successful at retaining his support base, the continuation of PTI power in politics will bring no good to Pakistan.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 45% chance that Pakistan will default on its debt in 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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