Pakistanis will cast ballots today in a twice-delayed parliamentary election, the first since former cricketer Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party ascended in 2018. The popular Khan, who has been jailed since last year and recently received three more jail sentences, was ousted in 2022 after losing support from the country's military.
Analysts expect the military-backed Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz party will receive the most votes, paving the way for three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to be elected to a fourth term. Sharif returned to Pakistan in October after spending four years abroad waiting for corruption charges against him to be dropped. No prime minister has held office for the entirety of a five-year term in the country's 76-year history.
The election comes a day after 30 people were killed in twin bomb attacks in the country's southwest and as the nuclear power faces worsening economic conditions and escalating tensions with neighbors Iran, India, and Afghanistan.