Pakistan Election Results: Record number of women win controversial polls
Pakistan's recent general elections witnessed a historic moment as at least 12 women secured notable victories across various political factions, despite allegations of vote rigging and a delayed results announcement. Notable among these victorious candidates are Maryam Nawaz, Aneeqa Bhatti, Aisha Jutt, and Amber Niazi.
Pakistan's election commission on Monday revealed the full results of the recent general elections, marking a historic moment with at least 12 women securing notable victories across various political factions. These victories come amidst allegations of vote rigging and a delay in the results announcement. In 2018, eight women were elected.
The successful women candidates, hailing from diverse political backgrounds, include independents backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). Noteworthy among them are Maryam Nawaz, Aneeqa Bhatti, Aisha Jutt, and Amber Niazi, who clinched victories in the National Assembly elections despite stiff competition.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) revealed that winners such as Shandana Gulzar, Aneeqa Bhattai, Aisha Nazir Jutt, Anbar Majeed, and Zartaj Gul secured victories in various constituencies, representing the PTI. Meanwhile, the PML-N witnessed significant triumphs with Nosheen Iftikhar, Maryam Nawaz, Shizra Mansab, and Tehmina Doltana emerging victorious.
In Sindh, Shazia Marri and Nafeesa Shah of the PPP, along with MQM-P's Asia Ishaq, celebrated victories after intense electoral contests.
The general elections, held on February 8, saw allegations of vote rigging, prompting scrutiny. Despite claims of victory from both PTI and PML-N, the absence of a clear majority necessitates coalition building in the National Assembly. The preliminary results indicate the PML-N as the largest party, followed by the PPP and independents, while the MQM-P secures third place.
The elections garnered significant voter turnout, with over 60 million votes cast nationwide across various constituencies. The turnout ranged from 42.9% in Balochistan to 81% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As the country prepares for a new political era, President Arif Alvi is expected to summon a session of the new National Assembly by February 29, as mandated by the Constitution.
Political analyst Nazir Leghari noted that parties risk dilution when they fail to meet the people's expectations, highlighting the evolving political landscape post-election. The unprecedented victories of women candidates underscore a significant milestone in Pakistan's political history, signalling a shift towards greater gender representation and political inclusivity.