The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders began discussing the terms of an alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan to carve out a formula for the formation of a government, The Express Tribune reported. The PML-N would take the post of prime minister, and the posts of the president and National Assembly speaker will be set aside for its partners if an alliance is agreed upon.
The release of results commenced nearly 12 hours after the conclusion of polling for both national and provincial assemblies on Thursday. The electoral process was overshadowed by instances of violence perpetrated by armed factions and Pakistan faced significant backlash due to the controversial suspension of mobile phone services, leading to accusations of “political engineering”.
Analysts suggest that the military favours three-time former PM Nawaz Sharif over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to assume power. However, Khan loyalists, running as independents, defied expectations by thriving and winning the most seats. Leaders from Khan’s party hailed it as a triumph for democracy, signalling the people’s demand for change.
Here are the top updates of the Pakistan elections:
- The final official results indicated that independent candidates supported by PTI secured victory in 97 seats, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged victorious in 76 constituencies. Additionally, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) secured 54 seats, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) garnered 17 seats.
- According to a report in Dawn, Imran Khan’s PTI alleges that the results of at least 18 National Assembly seats were “incorrectly altered” by election officers.
- On Sunday, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PPP president Asif Ali Zardari convened a meeting with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif. The two parties have tentatively agreed to “prevent political instability in the country”.
- The PML-N gained the backing of the initial independent candidate supported by Imran Khan’s party on Sunday, bolstering its parliamentary influence. Wasim Qadir, previously supported by the PTI and victorious over PML-N’s Sheikh Rohail Asghar in Lahore’s National Assembly-121 constituency, affiliated with the PML-N following discussions with Maryam Nawaz, daughter of party leader Nawaz Sharif, at her residence.
- Khan’s PTI urged its supporters in the United Kingdom and the United States to demonstrate against the purported electoral irregularities.
- As reported by AFP, police deployed tear gas to scatter backers of imprisoned former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, following his party’s call for demonstrations outside election offices. Incidents of clashes were reported in Rawalpindi city and Lahore. Additionally, dozens of other protests were conducted across the country without any untoward events. Following calls from PTI to protest, police implemented restrictions on “illegal gatherings”.
- The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) made several decisions that could impact the outcomes of elections in four crucial constituencies, Dawn reported. The consolidation of results was suspended in Islamabad’s NA-47 and NA-48 constituencies and Mansehra’s NA-15 constituency. A recounting was announced in Hub’s PB-21 constituency in Balochistan.
- An analysis of provisional results indicates that in at least 24 National Assembly constituencies, the number of rejected ballots exceeded the margin of victory, Dawn reported. Of these, twenty-two constituencies are located in Punjab, while one each is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
- Pakistan’s courts have been inundated with petitions from losing candidates challenging the provisional results in their respective constituencies. These petitions have been filed within days following the highly polarized general elections in the country.
- According to ARY News, the PTI called for the immediate resignation of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sikandar Sultan Raja, citing constitutional violations. A PTI spokesperson has asserted that both the CEC and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should step down for allegedly breaching the constitution.