Pakistan is likely heading towards a hung verdict with former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan declaring victory. The country’s Electoral Commission has not yet announced all the results. Analysts had predicted there might not be a clear winner.
Sharif has said he would talk to other parties about forming a coalition government as his party has failed to win a clear majority on its own. Khan, a popular former cricketer who voted from prison, said in a “victory speech” that independents backed by his party are on track to win more than 170 of the 264 seats that went to the polls. The majority score is 133.
Elections were held in Pakistan on February 8 amid a mobile service blackout.
Here are the LIVE updates on Pakistan elections:
Get updates from NDTVActivate notifications for receive alerts as this story develops.
Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir said the country needs steady hands and a healing touch to overcome the politics of anarchy and polarization, Dawn reported this morning. “As the people of Pakistan have reposed their combined trust in the Constitution of Pakistan, it is now incumbent on all political parties to reciprocate with political maturity and unity,” he said, calling the elections “free and unhindered.”
The count of 250 seats has been completed and independent candidates, a large majority of them backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, were on top with 99 seats, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan. . The group was followed by Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N with 71 seats, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) with 53, Muttahida Qaumi Movement with 17 and other seats for smaller parties. Although elected with the support of Imran Khan’s party, independents can join any party, which is a potential source of instability as they can also change allegiance in the future.
A strong showing by independent candidates loyal to Imran Khan has made military-backed Nawaz Sharif reconsider his strategies and plan a unity government along with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The latest figures suggest that Nawaz Sharif will have no choice but to partner with the PPP to form an alliance government.
PTI-backed independents: 94
Source: Express Tribune citing state agency APP
Hours after Nawaz Sharif claimed his party had become the largest, Imran Khan indicated his group is on track to win a clear majority, remarks that are causing confusion among Pakistanis over who will form the government.
“No Pakistani will accept this (electoral malpractice) and the international media has also reported extensively about it. As per Form 45 data, we are on track to win more than 170 seats in the National Assembly. My countrymen, you all have established a date for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. We are winning the 2024 elections with a two-thirds majority. Everyone has seen the power of your vote. Now show your ability to preserve and protect it,” Imran Khan said in the clip audio of your AI-enabled voice.
“The Pakistan Muslim League is today the largest party in the country after the elections and it is our duty to take this country out of the turmoil,” Nawaz Sharif had declared yesterday at a press conference in Lahore.
Imran Khan has delivered a “victory speech” with his AI-enabled voice, saying that Nawaz Sharif’s “London Plan” failed with massive voter turnout on election day.
“My dear compatriots. By participating in such large numbers and exercising your democratic right to vote, you have laid the foundation for the restoration of the freedom to exercise citizens’ rights. I congratulate you all for generously helping us win the elections.” He had full faith that they would come in such large numbers to cast their votes. He lived up to my confidence and the massive turnout on election day surprised many. The “London Plan” due to its active participation in the democratic exercise. Nawaz Sharif is a low intelligence leader who gave a victory speech even though his party was trailing by 30 seats,” he said in an audio clip of his AI-enabled voice on social media.