On 25th July 2018, Pakistan held its 11th general elections. Two hundred and seventy two (272) seats of the National Assembly and 593 seats of four provincial assemblies were up for grabs.
Over 105 million people were eligible to cast their votes.
Although dozens of political parties fielded their candidates from different constituencies, the actual contest was expected among the Big Three: PPP, PTI, and PML-N. It was no easy contest. During the electioneering, PMLN and PPP accused certain quarters of the establishment of siding with the PTI. They blamed that their own candidates were harassed and coerced by unknown people to not stand for elections.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) devised a Result Transmission System (RTS) for a quick and transparent announcement of the outcome. But, the system failed too soon after the process of counting started, raising suspicions of many candidates and political parties.
PTI emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly while PML-N won the most seats in the Punjab Assembly. The PPP once again conquered the Sindh assembly by winning more than a simple majority in 168 member house. Balochistan gave a split mandate mainly to different nationalist parties but the newly constituted Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) won the most seats.
The PML-N and PPP cried foul and rejected the results. They also demanded a complete investigation into the failure of the RTS.
PTI with the help of their allies constituted governments both in the center and in all the provinces except Sindh. Imran Khan elected as the 22nd premier of the country.
Finally, the PTI did come into power on the promise of ‘change’ or its favorite catchphrase ‘tabdeeli ayi hay’. The people had great expectations from Imran Khan that he would overhaul the entire system and bring reforms in every sector of the government.
On the 2nd anniversary of the 2018 elections, we went out on the streets of Lahore and asked people about their views regarding the PTI’s government performance.