Elections 2024: What the Intl. Media Had to Say

Dawn.com looks at some of the reporting and analysis from across the globe on the elections that were, contrary to the pre-poll predictions, anything but predictable:

The GuardianThe Observer view on Pakistan voters’ rejection of military rule: a victory for democracy

“Attempts to ignore Khan and his supporters may trigger further unrest and instability. That is the opposite of what the country needs. At a time in history when the integrity of democracy in India and Bangladesh also faces serious questions, Pakistanis should take a moment to celebrate the voter revolt of 2024.”

BloombergImran Khan’s candidates defy odds to thrive in Pakistan election

“The independents’ strong performance points to Khan’s enduring popularity among the nation’s 129 million registered voters, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet amid the fastest inflation in Asia. It also highlights public disillusionment with the status quo of Pakistani politics, represented by the parties of the Sharif and Bhutto clans.”

The New York TimesShocking opposition victory throws Pakistan into chaos

“The success of Mr Khan’s party upended the decades-old political playbook governing Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 240 million. Throughout those years, the military has wielded ultimate authority, guiding its politics behind a veil of secrecy, and civilian leaders have typically risen to power only with its support — or been driven from office by its heavy hand.”

The IndependentPakistan election credibility already marred by internet blackout and slow count amid anxious wait for results

“But whoever ends up winning the election, the way it was conducted will guarantee recriminations over the validity of the result, and serves as a bleak reminder of the power still held by the country’s military establishment to try and interfere with its democratic processes.”

Sky NewsPakistan is in political limbo after election upset – so what’s next?

“To me, the PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto Zardari could well be the kingmaker. His centrist party will need to decide if it’s the status quo of Sharif they want to get behind or the more radical agenda of the independents. What is clear is the military has taken a hit this election. For the first time ever, they appeared to back a candidate at odds with the political winds of the rest of the country.”

Time MagazinePakistan’s military used every trick to sideline Imran Khan—and failed. Now what?

“[…] the question remains how PTI supporters will react to their disenfranchisement, not least given the grim state of the economy. On May 9, PTI supporters ransacked military premises in response to an earlier, fleeting arrest of Khan. He may remain behind bars, but Thursday’s election shows the sporting icon is far from done as a political force.”

France 24The ‘generals’ elections’ in Pakistan that turned against the military

“The country’s real power-wielder, however, was not on the ballot paper, and Pakistanis were never given a symbol or say on the issue. The 2024 general election was dubbed the most rigged in Pakistan’s history, with wags on social media calling it the ‘generals’ election’, referring to the all-powerful military in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.”

Financial TimesImran Khan loyalists win shock victory in Pakistan election

“Many voters, particularly young people swept up by Khan’s promises for a ‘new Pakistan’, were dismayed by the thought of another term under the Sharif dynasty — Nawaz’s brother Shehbaz served as prime minister last year.”

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