July 26, 2018

#PakistankoVoteDo: What’s next for Pakistan after elections?

Imran Khan's PTI party leads amid accusations of rigging.

Millions took to the polls on Wednesday to vote in Pakistan’s general election – set to be only the second civilian-to-civilian handover of power in the nation’s history.

This year’s election – a fiercely-contested race between incumbent Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan – culminated with a blast near a polling station in the provincial capital of Balochistan. The ISIL-claimed bombing killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens – the latest attack in a campaign marred by violence.

Partial results suggest Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party are on a path to victory amid accusations of foul play from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Bhutto Zardari.

We’ll break down the results and consider what's next.

Refugee crisis in the Mediterranean
The European Commission has proposed a plan to pay €6,000 ($7,010) per person to any member government rescuing people attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The proposal - the latest in a series aimed at tackling a long-running refugee crisis - also includes provisions to process asylum claims more efficiently and return rejected applicants to their countries of origin.

Though migration across the Mediterranean has dropped significantly since 2015, data from the UN refugee agency and the Missing Migrants Project suggests that within the last six months, 28 out of every 1,000 people who attempt the journey die at sea. Human rights activists contend that restrictions on immigration and aid organisations imposed by Libyan authorities and some European governments have worsened the crisis, leading to the deaths of at least 1,000 people since the start of the year.

We’ll examine the European Commission’s proposal and speak with the aid group Proactiva Open Arms to learn more about rescue efforts on the Mediterranean.

Ethiopia and Eritrea renew relations
“A joint declaration of peace and friendship” between Ethiopia and Eritrea is giving hope to millions of people in the Horn of Africa. The decades-long cold war between the two Horn of Africa nations ended earlier this month when Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met to reestablish diplomatic ties and economic cooperation.

But complex issues remain.

We’ll welcome back past guests of The Stream - one Ethiopian and one Eritrean - to explore what renewed ties means for their people and others living in East Africa and the Horn.

Join us on Thursday at 19:30 GMT.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Sarah Zaman @SarahzTV
Journalist, Voice of America

Gerard Canals @CanalsGcb
Mission coordinator, Proactiva Open Arms

Rahel Weldeab Sebhatu @RahelWeldeab
Political Scientist

Awol Allo @awolallo
Lecturer in Law, Keele University

Read more:
Pakistan elections 2018: All the latest updates - Al Jazeera
The perils and struggles of Mediterranean migration - Al Jazeera
Wary Eritreans say Ethiopia deal 'means nothing' without reforms - Al Jazeera

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