Former cricketer Imran Khan has claimed victory in Pakistan's election, amid accusations of vote rigging by rivals. In a television address, he said: "We were successful and we were given a mandate."
Imran Khan has won a disputed Pakistan election but has fallen short of an outright majority, according to official results announced Friday (Jul 27) that indicate he will need to enter into a coalition to form a government. A jubilant Imran has already declared victory in the pivotal vote, which has drawn allegations of massive vote-rigging in his favour.
The Election Commission said Friday that with only 11 seats left to count, Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) enjoys a strong lead with 114 seats, and will be the biggest party in parliament. At a press conference the commission said that the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had 63 seats and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which could prove kingmaker in a coalition government, had won 43.
The count indicates PTI will not achieve the 137 seats needed in the National Assembly to form a majority government in its own right.
Election officials are under fire for the lack of a full official result two days after ballots closed, an unprecedented delay that observers say has undermined the legitimacy of the exercise.
The ECP has dismissed allegations of manipulation — blaming the delay in the results, an unofficial version of which had been expected late Wednesday, on technical glitches.
International observers, including a European Union delegation, are due to give their preliminary assessments of the vote on Friday, after rival parties, including the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, alleged “blatant” rigging.
The vote is meant to be a rare democratic transition in the country, which has been ruled by the powerful army for roughly half its history, but has been marred by violence and allegations of military interference.
Imran, a 65-year-old former cricket star, claimed victory in a wide-ranging address to the nation Thursday. “We were successful and we were given a mandate,” he said from his home in the capital Islamabad.
The former all-rounder’s statement came after his supporters took to the streets to celebrate winning an election that opponents have said the military fixed for him.
- Source: News websites