Former PM and most popular candidate, cricketing legend Imran Khan, is disqualified after being ousted by the military establishment and subsequently jailed. The likely winner, Nawaz Sharif, has returned from exile in London after himself falling afoul of the army in 2018.
The big question is could voter backlash against the treatment of Imran upset the army's plans?
Whoever wins on Thursday has a monumental task ahead. Pakistan's economy is teetering on collapse and the country is in the frontline of the climate catastrophe. It faces a hard road.
Imran casts a long shadow over polling day
Umair Javed, Lahore University of Management Sciences
He may be banned and his party in disarray but Imran Khan will be an influential figure in Pakistan’s election.
Pakistan, where democracy wears an army uniform
Ajay Darshan Behera, Jamia Millia Islamia
The Pakistan military does not want a genuinely popular civilian political leader in power.
Electoral musical chairs makes a mockery of democracy
Wajid Islam, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority and Hafsa Hina, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
After enduring the worst economic crisis of 2023, Pakistan's next election should be focused on repair and reform. What's happening is more like musical chairs.
Beleaguered parties and strategic voters
Shandana Khan Mohmand, University of Sussex
While more and more of the country’s voters now live in urban areas, the bulk is still in the countryside. Does this effect voting behaviour?
Pakistan readies itself for an orchestrated election
Bharat Bhushan, 360info
The Pakistan Army manipulates the election process to get a friendly government in place.
Rigged or not, polls the only option for Pakistan
Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University
While there are allegations of it being fixed, as a constitutional exercise it is preferable compared to the alternative which is martial law.
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