Pakistani Elections: How Will the Outcome Impact Foreign Policy?
Pakistan is headed towards its second consecutive democratic transition of power on July 25. However, the current political landscape is too fragmented and uncertain to predict clear outcomes. It is likely that these elections will introduce a fragile, hung parliament that may usher in a shaky coalition government. A fragile government may not be able to take a firm stand on tough foreign policy issues currently facing Pakistan, in terms of its image and role globally. Considering the differences between various political stakeholders in Pakistan, a coalition would entail a consociational system where divergent policy agendas and differences of opinion are likely to make foreign policy maneuvering difficult for the incoming government.
Current Electoral Scenarios
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power in the 2013 general elections with a ruling majority in the country’s National Assembly. However, last year, the Supreme Court made the decision to remove Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, disqualifying him from holding office for life on corruption charges. Multiple high-ranking PML-N officials have also been disqualified under similar charges, while others have defected. This has created more space for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
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