Pakistan, which is struggling to recover from an economic crisis, was dealt another blow when the election returned a hung verdict. The country now faces days of political horse-trading as parties try to cobble together leaders to prove a majority.
Here are 10 updates on Pakistan election results:
Imran Khan, who is in prison and banned from contesting elections, managed to grab headlines when independent candidates supporting his Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf (PTI) party won 101 seats in Pakistan’s general elections.
But the party still fell 32 seats short of the majority needed to form a government.
Final results were announced nearly 60 hours after polls closed Thursday night. Pakistan’s electoral commission attributed the delay to internet problems, as polling stations face difficulties in transmitting results.
Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (N), which was backed by the army and was the favorite to win the polls, could only win 73 seats in the 266 assembly. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won 54 votes.
Both Khan and three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared victory yesterday, raising uncertainty over who will form the next government at a time when swift political action is needed to address multiple challenges.
The independents’ strong performance points to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s enduring popularity among the country’s 241 million people, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet amid Asia’s fastest inflation.
Several independents, backed by the PTI, have alleged fraud in the election results and have filed cases in the high court. According to local media reports, several more candidates could go to court in the coming days alleging that the vote was rigged.
The PTI today launched nationwide protests over the unprecedented delay in results announcements.
PTI Chairman Gohar Khan called on “all institutions” in Pakistan to respect his party’s mandate. At a news conference, he said that if full poll results were not released by Saturday night, the party would hold peaceful protests today in front of government offices that would deliver election results across the country.
In a bid to keep Imran Khan’s party away from the country’s presidency, Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto are holding talks to join forces. But even with combined strength, they will fall short of a majority by 6 seats.
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