Islamabad February 12 2024: Pakistan's election outcome points to increased political instability - casting a darker shadow over growth and prospects for securing IMF aid the country needs to avoid default.
With no party winning a majority, and a strong performance by independents backed by Imran Khan (who is in jail and whose party was banned from running), the formation of a coalition government is likely to be challenging and chaotic. This could lead companies to put investments on hold. Continued political instability could put a new aid package from the International Monetary Fund in jeopardy - raising default risk.
The results of the Feb. 8 elections were a surprise. Independent candidates, most of them backed by Khan, won more seats than any major political party, taking 101 of the 265 contested National Assembly seats.