1988 Pakistani general election

General elections were held in Pakistan on 16 November 1988 to elect the members of the National Assembly and Senate.

1988 Pakistani general election

 1985 16 November 1988 1990 

217 of the 237 seats in National Assembly
109 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Benazir Bhutto Nawaz Sharif
Leader since 10 January 1984 16 September 1988
Leader's seat Larkana Lahore
Seats won 94 56
Popular vote 7,546,561 5,908,742
Percentage 37.66% 29.48%

Map of Pakistan showing National Assembly Constituencies and winning parties

Prime minister before election

Mohammad Khan Junejo

Elected Prime minister

Benazir Bhutto

The elections saw the resurgence of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's daughter, Benazir. Supporters of President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who had died in August 1988, reorganised themselves into a nine-party alliance, the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) with support from the intelligence agencies.[1] This marked the beginning of a decade-long two-party system between the left-wing PPP and right-wing IJI and its successor the Pakistan Muslim League (N).

The PPP emerged as the biggest party, winning 94 of the 207 seats in the National Assembly. The IJI came second with 56 seats amidst a voter turnout of just 43%. The PPP was able to form a government with other left-wing parties, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), with Bhutto becoming the first female Prime Minister in a Muslim country.

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