Pakistan will go to the polls on 25th July to elect a new Prime Minister, but there are many contenders in the list of Prime ministerial candidate.
The three major political parties of Pakistan are PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party), PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-N) and PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf).
PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party)
This time the prime ministerial candidate from PPP is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he was born in Karachi. He is the eldest child and only son of the Pakistani politician and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, the former President of Pakistan. He is the grandson of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Since its formation in 1967, the PPP has been voted into power on five separate occasions (1970, 1977, 1988, 1993, and 2008). It dominated the politics of Pakistan during the 1970s, suffering a temporary decline during the military dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq. After the re-establishment of democracy in 1988 following Zia’s death, a two-party system developed, with the PPP and IJI (later succeeded by PML (N)) as the two major sides.
It had been a major and influential political left-wing force in the country and the party’s leadership has been dominated by the members of the Bhutto family. PPP has a poor record of governance in Sindh, where it has been in power for a decade.
PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-N)
After the detention of Nawaz Sharif, his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif is expected to be the prime ministerial candidate from PML-N. He was a Chief Minister the country’s largest province Punjab for a decade and has a reputation as a good administrator. However, his opponents oppose that he is also involved in the same corruption cases that force his elder brother from power.
The Pakistan Muslim League is a Centre-right conservative party in Pakistan. It was led by the thrice-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif until he was disqualified on the contempt of the Apex Court in 2017. After the 1999 coup, the party was eclipsed by its own splinter faction, the Musharaf – backed Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), for almost a decade. PML-N, however, regained popularity in 2008 general elections, when it was elected as the principal opposition party. It returned to power following the elections of 2013, with Sharif elected as the Prime Minister for an unprecedented third term.
Shortly after the Panama Papers revelations, Imran Khan protested on the streets of Islamabad in November 2016. He forced the Supreme Court to take up the corruption case against Nawaz Sharif Following which he got convicted in the corruption cases, the verdict came after a lengthy investigation into Nawaz Sharif’s family wealth. The probe began last year after a Panama Papers leak disclosed that three of Nawaz Sharif’s children own expensive flats in London through offshore companies. Nawaz Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing, claiming that the London property was purchased with legal money made through legitimate family business.
PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf)
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf is a political party in Pakistan founded in 1996 by former national cricket captain Imran Khan. PTI is the most rapidly growing political party of Pakistan and has created a tri-party system, in which it opposes both the leftist People’s Party and the conservative PML-N. The party boycotted the 2008 election because it believed that the election was fraudulent and laced with irregularities. But in 2013 it received over 7.5 million votes, making it second in the number of votes and third in the number of seats won.
The PTI has called for a complete overhaul of Pakistan’s current political order. The PTI believes in abolishing feudalism, economic inequality, and government mismanagement. The PTI promised to crack down on police brutality, restructure the civil service, reform the electoral system, allow for a truly independent judiciary, decentralize state power, and enforce laws which extend personal liberty.
His vote bank has increased tremendously because of some changes. Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar are his strongholds. Imran Khan is the only politician who was declared clean after a lengthy trial by Supreme Court of Pakistan which makes him the only politician in the history of Pakistan who went through this much scrutiny by the court while being in opposition and being declared clean. Imran Khan is not under direct attack of major criticism in Pakistan at the moment. Imran Khan’s biggest opponent Nawaz Sharif is disqualified from politics for life and his party is in disarray. This gives him an upper hand.
With the election around the corner having taken into consideration all these facts, it is felt Imran Khan has better chances of winning, unless all the opposition unite to fight him and by looking at the current political scenario of Pakistan politics, with little or no opposition left it is felt that Imran Khan might become the Prime Minister of Pakistan this time.