This is the first time a democratic government has finished its term in the country, which has a history of coups.
Pakistan’s government passed a major milestone Saturday, with the parliament becoming the first democratically chosen body to finish its term in a country that has faced three military coups and persistent political turmoil.
But after years of militant attacks, worsening electricity blackouts and faltering economic growth, the political party that took office five years ago on a wave of sympathy following the assassination of iconic leader Benazir Bhutto will likely find it more difficult this time to win voters to its side.
Underscoring divisions, politicians failed to reach agreement on a caretaker government in time for the final session of parliament before new elections are held. The country’s constitution calls for a vote within 60 days, although no date has yet been set.
Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who maintains his position in the meantime, hailed the peaceful transition as a success for his Pakistan People’s Part.