Two-horse race between Imran Khan and Sharif family is only second peaceful transfer of power in nation’s history

Pakistanis will go to the polls after an election campaign sullied by militant violence and widespread allegations of military interference that could see the former international cricketer Imran Khan gather enough support to lead his first government.

The national vote is a two-horse race between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), a long-established party that has ruled the country for the past five years, and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), formed by Khan to break open the nation’s hidebound politics.

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