Imran Khan claims victory in acrimonious Pakistan election

Imran Khan claims victory in acrimonious Pakistan election

Imran Khan claims victory in acrimonious Pakistan election

More than a dozen TV channels in Pakistan, based on official but partial counts, were projecting - using their own, undisclosed methodologies - that Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is getting as many as 119 seats of the 270 National Assembly seats that were contested.

The election has largely boiled down to a contest between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). This would be the largest deployment for any election in the country's history.

During the broadcast, Khan vowed to tackle corruption that was "eating our country like a cancer" and touched on promises to balance relations with the USA that would be "beneficial" for both countries. Their rivalry embodies two competing versions of reality - Khan's call to free Pakistan of corrupt political dynasties, and the Sharifs' call to free Pakistan of shadowy military, judicial, and bureaucratic influence in politics.

The erstwhile all-rounder's statement came several hours after his supporters took to the streets to celebrate winning an election that opponents have said the powerful military fixed in his favour.

Faisal said that the position of any leading party must be accepted in the wake of the election results.

Imran Khan has claimed victory in the Pakistan elections. First results are expected early Thursday.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has failed to announce the official results so far heaping the blame on failure of its online result collection system, which reportedly crashed. The European Union Election Observation Mission has 120 monitors at polling stations in major centers across Pakistan, with the exception of Baluchistan.

Pakistan's top election official batted away allegations of ballot-rigging Thursday, July 26, defending an ongoing delay in the formal vote count as a technical issue. Both have previously denied allegations of intervention.

Sharif, who was immediately placed in custody after returning from Britain almost two weeks ago, has denounced the verdict as politically motivated and accused a covert military-judiciary alliance of trying to keep him out of politics and undermining the integrity of his PML-N party. It was accompanied by a quote from Bajwa saying that "inimical forces" are working against Pakistan and that "we are united and steadfast to defeat them".

Led by the three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it was founded in 1993, and since then it has ruled the country three times i.e. 1990 to 1992, 1997 to 1999, and 2013 to 2018.

Gilani said many remain undecided: "It's still up for grabs". There was no immediate reaction from PML-N to Khan's broadcast.

It also was a test for the resilience of the governing Pakistan Muslim League-N party.

Khan's camp was increasingly confident, but it still appeared likely to fall short of a clear majority in the National Assembly.

If successful, the elections will mark only the second time a civilian government has handed power to another in Pakistan since the country's independence in 1947.

Till filing of this report, the PTI was leading on 27 seats, the MMA, ANP and PML-N on two seats each, the PPP on one seat, whereas two independent candidates were also leading.

"Claims of electing rigging occur after every election in Pakistan - but this time around, they will be harder to brush aside given the overt role the military has played", said Shamila Chaudhary, a former White House and State Department official who's now a fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

But he was dogged by accusations he was benefiting from a "silent coup" by the generals which targeted the PML-N.

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