ELECTIONS OF 1988 The elections of 1988, held on 17 November, marked the first time in 18 years that Pakistanis went to the polls to choose among parties and candidates The last time people were allowed to fully exercise their rights was in December 1970 Political parties were not permitted to participate in the elections held in 1985 The election was a contest between the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party and the Islami Jamhuri Itehad (IJI), a right-wing coalition of parties, including the Muslim League, which sought to continue the policies of the deceased president Zia ul-Haq The Pakistan People’s Party obtained 374 percent of the total vote, and won 92 of the 204 seats contested A new party, the Muhajir Qaumi Mahaz (MQM), swept the polls in Karachi and parts of Hyderabad city It captured 11 out of 13 seats in Karachi, and another two seats in Hyderabad IJI was unable to win any seat in Sindh Even Muhammad Khan Junejo, who represented the Muslim League as its president, was not returned from what was regarded as a safe seat

With 54 seats, IJI was the second largest party represented in the National Assembly The PPP led by Benazir Bhutto was invited to form a coalition government

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