1997 Pakistani general election

General elections were held in Pakistan on 3 February 1997 to elect the members of National Assembly. The elections were a fierce contest between Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by pre-election Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) led by Nawaz Sharif. Sharif benefited from the controversial death of Bhutto's brother Murtaza, a populist leader, a worsening economy, and alleged corruption cases against Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zardari.

1997 Pakistani general election

 1993 3 February 1997 (1997-02-03) 2002 

217 of the 237 seats in the National Assembly
104 seats needed for a majority
Turnout36.0% ( 4.3%)
  First party Second party
 
Leader Nawaz Sharif Benazir Bhutto
Party PML(N) PPP
Leader since 6 October 1993 10 January 1984
Leader's seat Lahore Larkana
Seats before 73 89
Seats after 137 18
Seat change 64 71
Popular vote 8,751,793 4,152,209
Percentage 44.88% 21.29%

Map of Pakistan Showing National Assembly Cosntituencies and winning Parties

Prime Minister before election

Benazir Bhutto
PPP

Elected Prime Minister

Nawaz Sharif
PML(N)

The elections took place after the previous PPP government was dismissed by President Farooq Leghari for matters of national security. Bhutto's government suffered with financial mismanagement, corruption charges, racial tensions in her native Sindh Province, issues with the judiciary, violations of the constitution, and intra-party and family feuds. After the PPP government was dismissed, a caretaker government was formed under the leadership of Malik Meraj Khalid.

The result was a victory for the PML (N), which received most votes ever won by an opposition party at the time. This was the first time PML-N had won an election without being part of any alliance. Sharif subsequently became Prime Minister for a second non-consecutive term. Voter turnout was only 36.0%.[1]


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