Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded fresh general elections in Pakistan after his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) charted a victory in the Punjab Assembly by-elections on Sunday, 17 July.
The win for PTI comes as a massive blow to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, whose son, Hamza Shehbaz, is set to lose his post as chief minister of Punjab.
PTI chairman Imran Khan in a tweet thanked party workers and voters of Punjab for defeating, what he called, not just PML-N candidates, but the entire state machinery, especially harassment by police and a “totally biased” Election Commission of Pakistan.
“The only way forward from here is to hold fair and free elections under a credible ECP. Any other path will only lead to greater political uncertainty and further economic chaos,” Khan wrote on Twitter.
Khan was ousted from the prime ministerial post in April this year following weeks of political drama, and was immediately succeeded by Shahbaz Sharif. Since then, Khan has hurled constant verbal attacks at the new dispensation, calling it an “imported government” installed at the behest of the United States.
What Happened in the Punjab By-elections?
The PTI routed Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by winning at least 15 seats in the bypolls on 20 seats that got vacated after the disqualification of PTI members who had voted for Hamza Shehbaz for Punjab chief minister’s office.
As per unofficial results reported by Dawn, PTI won five seats in central Punjab, five in north and as many in south Punjab.
The election for the chief minister will be held on 22 July on the Supreme Court’s order, and PTI’ss joint candidate with Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Chaudhary Parvez Elahi is likely to be the new CM.