Khan’s PTI party advances with the announcement of the final results of the Pakistani elections | Election news
The Pakistani Election Commission revealed that the Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, and its affiliates, won the largest number of seats in the Pakistani elections, when it announced the final results of the highly disputed vote.
A number of independent candidates allied with the PTI party led by the jailed former leader won seats in the National Assembly. February 8 voteThe committee said it helped the party make a surprising breakthrough by winning 97 seats out of 265. However, with no party winning a majority, and several contenders alleging vote-rigging, Pakistan’s political future is highly uncertain.
Five other independents, not supported by Imran Khan, also won seats. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party was followed by the Pakistan Muslim League, led by Khan’s fierce rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, with 76 seats. The 54 seats won by the PPP give it the potential to be a kingmaker.
However, several other small parties also took seats, meaning complex negotiations over government formation are likely to follow.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a Karachi-based party, made a surprise comeback in the opinion polls, winning 17 seats, while several other parties won 20 seats.
the voteThe elections, marred by deadly violence, were held to select 265 members of the National Assembly, meaning 134 seats were needed for the coalition to obtain a simple majority.
Many results have been suspended by the Election Commission following stay orders issued by the courts.
Protest amid allegations of fraud
Thousands of angry protesters poured into the streets of multiple cities during delays in vote counting over recent days — which was blamed on a communications blackout on voting day for what authorities described as security reasons — leaving several people dead.
The announcement of the final results and stay-in orders sparked new demonstrations across the country. However, in the meantime, violence was limited.
Pakistan’s powerful military, which has ruled directly for nearly three decades of Pakistan’s 76-year history, called for stability and calm. The party, which is close to the PML-N, is believed to be ready to intervene if the various parties fail to agree on a ruling coalition.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, among several other parties, has called for protests against the results. Claiming that they had been forged.
Reporting from Islamabad, Al Jazeera’s Kamal Haider said three of the stay orders came on seats that PTI claims its independent candidates won by a large margin.
“If this matter is not settled in a legal manner, these protests may spread across the country and possibly develop into a movement,” he said. He added: “Amid such orders, it seems that there will be a delay in forming the next government.”
A PTI supporter from Lahore told Al Jazeera that he will not sit silently and allow his party’s mandate to be stolen.
“The fact that the internet was blocked on election day showed how the state tried to manipulate the results. We believe that state institutions are fully involved in this matter, and this is unfortunate. “They have to respect the people’s votes,” he said, adding that he would go to protest in the afternoon.
At least six independent candidates backed by the PTI have appealed the results in court.
Analyst Zigham Khan told Al Jazeera that there are two main possible scenarios after the election results are announced.
“The most likely scenario is the formation of a coalition government that includes all political parties – except for Khan’s PTI party,” he told Al Jazeera. This will include the two largest political parties, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League, as well as the MQM, Jamaat-e-Islami and others.
“The second scenario, less likely but technically possible, is for the PPP to cooperate with the PTI and form a government,” the analyst said.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Inside Story, Farzana Sheikh, a specialist in Pakistani politics and economics, said that the election results were “astonishing.”
She said millions had turned out to challenge what was widely heralded as the desired outcome for the military establishment – a clear win for her preferred candidate, Nawaz Sharif.
“It also indicates the deep frustration of a population that is desperate for change and desperate to form a new government to address, in particular, the severe economic crisis currently facing the country.”
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