ELECTIONS OF 1977 In January 1977, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto decided to hold elections in order to seek a new mandate for himself and his organization, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) These were to be the first elections held under the constitution of 1973 The opposition, caught by surprise by this move, formed a coalition under the name of the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) The PNA was able to mount an effective campaign and was confident of obtaining a sizeable presence in the National Assembly, if not an outright majority The elections were held in February, but the results announced by the administration were not acceptable to the opposition According to the Election Commission, the PPP had won a comfortable victory A frustrated opposition decided to launch a protest against the government The protest turned violent, and after dozens of people were killed, the military, under the command of General Zia ul-Haq, chief of the army staff, imposed martial law and forced Prime Minister Bhutto out of office

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