Khan leads after Pakistani elections, but lacks majority

27.07.2018

Former cricket star Imran Khan has an overwhelming lead in Pakistan's elections but his party will not be able to form a majority government, according to official results from 95 per cent of constituencies released on Friday.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party has won 109 seats in the National Assembly, compared to 62 won by its nearest rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, according to the country's electoral authorities.

An unprecedented delay in the announcement of official results for Wednesday's polls has triggered accusations that the election had been rigged by the army in Khan's favour. Almost all political parties except Khan's have rejected the results and plan to hold a joint meeting in the capital Islamabad on Friday to decide how to go ahead.

Khan declared victory and promised wide ranging reforms in a televised speech on Thursday, even before official results had started trickling in.

Sharif's PML-N and the Pakistan People's Party of former president Asif Zardari said they would not accept the results, citing what they called widespread and blatant irregularities in their delivery and in the vote count. "This is a shame election ... We don't accept the outcome," said Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif who now leads the PML-N.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of an alliance of Islamic parties, called for fresh elections, saying a tainted, manipulated process was not acceptable to them. The Election Commission of Pakistan rejected the accusations of rigging and said the delay in the announcement of results was caused by the malfunction of software.

More than 370,000 troops were deployed to provide security during the polls after deadly bombings by Islamist militants in the run-up killed around 180 people. (dpa)

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