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Imran Khan-backed independents win 101 of 264 seats as election commission concludes vote count

The final tally was released over 60 hours after voting concluded in Thursday's national elections, a delay that has raised questions about the process.

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Islamabad Updated on: February 11, 2024 15:22 IST
Pakistan election results
Image Source : AP Pakistan election result

Islamabad: Pakistan's national election vote count concluded on Sunday with independents, mostly backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, winning 101 of the 264 seats, the election commission's website showed. The independents were followed by the party of another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, which won 75 seats - becoming the largest single party in parliament as Khan's independents ran as individuals. The final tally was released over 60 hours after voting concluded in Thursday's national elections, a delay that has raised questions about the process.

Pakistan held a parliamentary election last Thursday, with 44 parties fighting for a share of 266 seats in the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament. A further 70 seats have been reserved for minorities and women. If no party wins a majority of 169 seats, the one with the biggest share can form a coalition government. The vote was overshadowed by violence, an unprecedented national shutdown of all mobile phone services and allegations of vote rigging.

Nawaz Sharif's party wins 75 seats

The independents came in ahead of the party of another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, which won 75 seats, making it the largest single party in parliament as Khan's independents ran as individuals.

Sharif has said his party is talking to other groups to form a coalition government as it had failed to win a clear majority on its own. Khan's PTI party had threatened to hold nationwide peaceful protests on Sunday if the vote tally was not released overnight, and some small protests took place overnight.

Pakistan's interim government says the delay was caused by communication issues due to a mobile internet outage on election day. The outage, which authorities said was for security reasons, drew concern from rights groups and foreign governments, including the United States. In a post on social media platform X on Sunday, a PTI party secretary called off general protests but said there should be demonstrations at certain electoral offices where they were concerned about "forged" results. Around 93 of the independent candidates who won seats were associated with Khan's PTI party.

Role of independent candidates 

Khan's supporters were running as independents because they had been barred from contesting the polls under his party's electoral symbol by the election commission for not complying with electoral laws. Despite the ban and Khan's imprisonment for convictions on charges ranging from leaking state secrets to corruption and an unlawful marriage, millions of the former cricketer's supporters came out to vote for him, even though he cannot be part of any government while he remains in prison.

One disadvantage the independents face in trying to form a government is they are not eligible to be allocated any of parliament's 70 reserved seats, which are distributed according to party strength in the final tally. Sharif's party could get up to 20 of these seats. The election commission previously flagged that results for two seats could not yet be included - one in which a candidate was killed requiring the postponement of polling, and another in which polling would be completed later this month.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Pakistan Election Commission announces fresh polls in some booths as Imran Khan's party alleges rigging

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