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Pakistan election 2024: International media, community mixed over vote results

This photo taken on February 3, 2024, shows a street adorned with flags of political parties ahead of Pakistans national elections, in Quetta. — AFP
This photo taken on February 3, 2024, shows a street adorned with flags of political parties ahead of Pakistan’s national elections, in Quetta. — AFP

The international media and community have mostly taken Pakistan’s general election with a pinch of salt, arguing that the 16-hour-long mobile and internet closure coupled with the snail-paced issuance of unofficial results sparked speculations of peri- and post-vote rigging, drawing local and global criticism.

In the ongoing general elections in Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and independently supported candidates by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) find themselves in a tight competition for a majority of seats, eliciting varied responses from the world community.

Due to the initial delay in the results release and the early publication of unofficial election results by local TV networks, PTI claimed to be leading on more than 100 seats, according to the BBC.

However, the ECP distanced itself from “the unofficial, incomplete results” that were being reported by the local media, citing the government’s decision to suspend phone and internet service as the reason for the results’ postponed release.

The entire scandal has generated dispute regarding the results that the commission has officially declared, and numerous candidates have accused the commission of manipulating the election results.

Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan, Raza Amiri Moghadam, reportedly complimented the government on “safe and secure” elections, according to The News, a website located in Islamabad.

The Pakistani people should select their future leaders, according to the Joe Biden Administration, as the country held general elections on Friday amid allegations of electoral fraud and manipulation.

“Millions of Pakistanis went to the polls today to vote and I will reiterate that Pakistan’s future leadership is for the Pakistani people to decide, and our interest continues to be in the democratic process,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at his daily news conference.

He condemned any acts of violence related to the election, both on the polling day on February 8 and in the weeks preceding it.

“These kinds of election-related violence, we believe, affected a broad range of political parties across Pakistan. It impacted polling stations, election officers, as well as the election commission,” he said as he raised concerns regarding the restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression.

Analysts claim that this election is one of the least credible in Pakistan and that the results were announced later than in previous elections.

Although most experts agree that there is only one candidate for the top job, which is Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif even though there were roughly 44 parties that filed to run for seats in the National Assembly.

Global media outlets aligned a variety of political ideas in their coverage of Pakistan’s election, in addition to worldwide political leaders.

The BBC and CNN made insinuations about election tampering and lack of credibility amid unrest in Pakistan.

An article titled “Pakistan’s elections are being brazenly rigged” was published by Time. “Why doesn’t the US seem to care?” encapsulated both the international community’s expectations for these elections and the PTI’s historical trajectory following the May 9 riots.

In addition to covering the election manipulation, other international media also examined the three main parties’ chances of winning.

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