Voting is underway in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab on Sunday for several by-elections that are a litmus test for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government after Imran Khan was ousted in April following a protracted political battle.  

A victory for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will give the former leader the renewed momentum to pressure the government to hold early elections as he touts popular support for his grievances. The next elections must be held by October 2023.