Islamabad: Official results, after a tedious counting process of over 56 hours, show cricket star Imran Khan won in Pakistan’s polls, but he will have to seek out allies to form a coalition government.
Pakistan election officials on Saturday announced that Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won 115 of the 269 seats being contested in the National Assembly. The election on Wednesday gave his nearest rival, Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, 64 seats. Sharif, who heads the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and all other major political parties have rejected the results charging widespread fraud and manipulation.
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of multiple religious parties, has managed to win 12 seats, whereas Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has garnered just six seats. Khan declared his victory on Thursday and dismissed the allegations of poll-rigging calling it the most transparent election in Pakistan’s history. Third place went to the left of center Pakistan People’s Party with 43 seats.
PML-Q, a fraction of the original PML, and the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) have won four seats each, while Sindh-based Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has won only two.
Interestingly, 13 Independent candidates have also triumphed in the National Assembly polls, who are expected to play an important role in government formation, just like the smaller parties as PTI has fallen short of the magic number.
Actual final tally may differ from today’s results
Elections are a game of numbers. Despite the tiresome counting process which lasted over two days, the final result may have enough room for maneuver to weaken the ruling party’s position in Parliament, or even turn the tables for an unlikely alliance of Opposition parties.
Pakistan’s National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected. A party can only form the government if it manages to clinch 172 seats in total. The elections were conducted on 25 July, Wednesday, on 270 seats, while election on two other seats was postponed, which is expected to take place along with the by-elections on seats vacated by the leaders who won more than one seat.
Moreover, re-counting has been ordered on at least five National Assembly seats, which means a win can easily change into a loss especially at closely contested seats.
PML-N retains majority in the stronghold of Punjab, but PTI a close second
PPP manages to retain dominance in Sindh
In Sindh Assembly, the PPP has got a clear majority by winning 74 seats in the house of 131, even as it lost its position elsewhere in the country. It is followed by PTI with 22 seats and MQM by 16. GDA, a coalition of five political parties, which had aimed to break the PPP’s monopoly in the province, has won only 11 seats in the provincial Assembly. No Independent candidate managed to win a seat in Sindh. According to a report in Dawn, since 1988, the interiors of Sindh faithfully vote for the PPP. However, the party took a hit in its bastion in the previous election after its vote share went down by five percent.
In 2013, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as a considerable force in Karachi and analysis showed that the PTI took a bite out of the PPP’s chunk in the province’s major urban center, according to the report. This years’ vote share is yet to be announced, but the PTI is likely to have managed to take off a large chunk of PPP’s support base, going by its performance in Karachi.