New Delhi: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) finally began to declare the results of the parliamentary elections late on Friday night, after a delay of more than 10 hours that sparked allegations of rigging, violence, and a nationwide mobile phone blackout. Despite the controversy, the initial trends showed that independent candidates allied with Imran Khan, the jailed leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were leading on about 154 seats out of 342, according to media reports.
Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister who was hoping to return to power, faced a humiliating defeat in both his seats, losing one of them to Imran Khan himself. As per the results announced so far, PTI has won 5 seats, while Nawaz Sharif’s party Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) has won 4 seats. Amin Faheem’s party Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) has won 3 seats.
Imran Khan, who is currently in jail on charges of corruption and other cases, claimed that the people of Pakistan had voted for him in large numbers, even before the results were out. He expressed confidence in his victory and said, “No force can defeat an idea whose time has come.” He said that he had captured the pulse of the nation and that he would bring about a change in Pakistan.
The people of Pakistan seemed to sympathize with Imran Khan because of his imprisonment and his anti-corruption stance. They also appeared to reject Nawaz Sharif, who had fled from Pakistan after being convicted of graft and was trying to stage a comeback from London. However, Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and PMLN leader Maryam Nawaz Aurangzeb said that her party would not only win in Punjab province but would also form the government at the center.
Imran Khan’s party PTI urged Nawaz Sharif to concede his defeat and accept the verdict of the people. PTI said that Nawaz Sharif had lost his credibility as a politician and that Pakistan was now going to reject the looting that was happening in broad daylight. However, it seemed that none of the parties would get a clear majority in Pakistan and that a coalition government would have to be formed.