The recent by-elections that took place are being viewed by many in the media – and by former prime minister Imran Khan – as a victory for his party, the PTI. However, a deeper analysis shows something else.
First, the PTI ran on 8 National Assembly seats (that it had won in 2018) and 3 Provincial Assembly seats. While it won 6 of the NA seats and 1 of PA seats, their margin of victory was closer than in 2018.
Second, since Imran Khan knew that the only way to win these seats was if he ran, he ran on 6 seats of the 8 seats. The two seats on which others from PTI ran, the PTI lost them – to PP.
Third, all 6 seats that Imran Khan ran on and won will have to repolled because Imran Khan already holds a seat in the National Assembly. And when that happens someone other than Khan will have to run and the likelihood of their winning is doubtful.
As Hasan Zaidi, journalist and editor, commented on twitter
It is true that the incumbent government – the PML-N – PPP led coalition government- is being blamed for the economic crises instead of Imran Khan whose policies caused the current economic crises. in power are largely to blame for the economic woes.
If, however, the current government reins in inflation that would help boost their image. However, the ruling coalition also needs to do a better job at countering Imran Khan’s narrative both in the mainstream and on social media.
As former senator and columnist, Afrasiab Khattak noted on twitter