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Pakistan election: Who's who and why it matters

July 22, 2018 4:14 pm

Tens of millions of Pakistanis are preparing to vote in a general election on Wednesday after a campaign tainted by violence and dominated by political controversy.

What happens in this South Asian country of nearly 200 million matters: it is a nuclear-armed rival to India, a key developing economy and one of the world’s largest Muslim-majority nations.

Here’s what you need to know about the election, which has been called the dirtiest in Pakistan’s history.

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Why it’s important
Since independence in 1947, Pakistan has oscillated between civilian and military rule. This election will mark the second time that one civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term – a historic landmark.

But few in Pakistan are celebrating the strength of its democracy. The run-up to the vote has been marked by tensions between the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party and the military.

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