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Despite A Crackdown, Imran Khan's Allies Claim A Stunning Victory In The Pakistani Election

  • Posted on February 10, 2024
  • News
  • By Haroon Ameen

Most seats are won by candidates supported by Khan's PTI, although adversary Nawaz Sharif tries to create an alliance.

In order to gain the most seats in Pakistan's election, politicians associated with the party of former prime minister Imran Khan have resisted a military-led crackdown and accused widespread election manipulation; nonetheless, rival Nawaz Sharif declared victory and announced his intention to create a coalition government.

Following Thursday's polls, candidates supported by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party led by Khan, who is currently serving sentences totaling more than ten years in prison, declared a stunning victory, defying all expectations that three-time prime minister Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) would easily win a majority.

In an artificial intelligence-generated audiovisual statement posted on his X social media account, Khan declared victory and urged his followers to rejoice over their victory in spite of what he described as a party crackdown.

The Pakistani military, which has a history of interfering in elections and has long served as the nation's political power broker, was perceived as supporting Sharif.

Nonetheless, it seems that voters across have turned out in historically high numbers to back Khan and the PTI. Sources claim that the military was unable to "manage" the results for Sharif as intended due to the magnitude of the votes cast for PTI-backed candidates.

After counting votes for 265 seats in the national assembly, PTI-backed candidates had secured over 90 seats, followed by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) with 52 and the PML-N with 69.

Analysts concurred that PTI would have difficulty forming a government in the absence of a simple majority. PTI candidates were forced to register as independents since they were unable to run for office using the party's name or emblem due to an election commission decision.

In a "victory" speech on Friday night, Sharif asked other political parties "to join us to form a government," even though he was not leading in the polls. It is acknowledged that this offer did not include PTI.

According to Sharif's remarks, the PML-N, PPP, and other smaller parties will form a coalition government if a deal is made; Khan and PTI will not be part of this administration.

Two years after forming a coalition in 2020, Khan was removed from office as prime minister by the same parties. Because of the ongoing economic crisis in the nation, they were mainly unpopular during their 16 months in office.

PTI leaders retaliated against Sharif by saying he was not entitled to declare victory or establish a government. They claimed their party had actually won a far larger number of seats and cited widespread claims of vote-rigging in favour of PML-N candidates. In many areas, the vote count was postponed for almost 24 hours, and in other cases, it was changed overnight against the PTI.

Concern over "significant delays to the reporting of results and claims of irregularities in the counting process" was expressed by David Cameron, the foreign secretary for the United Kingdom.

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Haroon Ameen

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