Pakistani demonstrators block highways to demonstrate against the election results Election news

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan and its affiliates won the largest number of seats in the final result published on Sunday.

Thousands of demonstrators blocked highways and began a day-long strike to demonstrate against the results of last week’s general elections in Pakistan.

The demonstrations came on Monday after the announcement of the final results of the elections February 8 Voting, with tensions rising amid allegations of voter fraud and tampering, and extreme uncertainty about the formation of the next government.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and its affiliates won the largest number of seats in the final result published on Sunday, bagging 95 of the 264 seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Sharif party, led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, came in second place with 75 seats.

With no party winning a majority, complex negotiations are underway to form a coalition government that will choose the country’s next prime minister.

With dozens of electoral district results facing challenge in court, Pakistan faces weeks of political uncertainty.

Supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, protest against the alleged distortion of national election results, in Peshawar, Pakistan, February 12, 2024. (Abdul Majeed/AFP)

In the midst of these thorny conversations, controversy continues over allegations of voter fraud. PTI is also protesting that Khan was unable to contest the election due to criminal convictions, some of which were pushed just before the vote.

Along with other parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party refused to accept defeat in dozens of electoral districts, claiming vote tampering.

Thousands took to the streets over the weekend in Lahore, where dozens were arrested. On Monday, the party organized more protests and a strike.

Government spokesman in Balochistan province, Jan Achakzai, urged protesters to “show grace” by accepting defeat and staying off the highways.

Police had previously warned that they would crack down on illegal gatherings, citing the Section 144 order, a colonial-era law banning public gatherings.

“Some individuals are instigating illegal gatherings around the Election Commission and other government offices,” a statement issued by the Islamabad Police Force on Sunday said.

Interactive_ALL PM in Pakistan since 1988
(Al Jazeera)

“Legal measures will be taken against illegal gatherings. It should be noted that incitement to gatherings is also a crime.”

A similar warning was also issued in Rawalpindi, where AFP staff saw police firing tear gas at a crowd of PTI supporters camped out at an election office.

A gathering of about 200 PTI supporters in Lahore was quickly dispersed after police moved in with riot shields and batons.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, which has the support of Pakistan’s powerful army, and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party, which came third in the election with 54 seats, are in alliance talks and are disagreeing over who will be prime minister.

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