Pakistan’s election results showed that independent candidates, most of whom were in support of Imran Khan, won the majority of seats. However, due to the delay in the election results, Nawaz Sharif’s party emerged as the largest party in the elections.
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan granted bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in May last year in 12 cases related to attacks on military installations. The development came as Pakistan’s election results showed that independent candidates, most of whom were in support of Imran Khan, won the majority of seats. However, due to the delay in the election results, Nawaz Sharif’s party emerged as the largest party in the elections.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was hoping to secure a fourth term with his party’s easy victory in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections, has suffered a setback. Sharif now faces a challenging path to power. Independent candidates backed by his jailed rival Imran Khan made an unexpectedly strong showing, seeing twenty in the vote tally. This contradicted claims by Khan’s supporters and a national rights body that suggested the voting process was rigged in favor of Sharif. This unexpected turn of events disrupted Sharif’s plans and the support of the security establishment, prompting him to announce efforts to establish a coalition government on Friday. However, just a day earlier, Sharif had strongly rejected the notion of a coalition by expressing his desire to have a single party rule Pakistan for the full five-year term after casting his vote.
Khan, a former cricket icon turned Islamic politician, was disqualified from contesting Thursday’s election due to criminal convictions. They argue that their convictions and the many pending legal cases against them were politically motivated. Since Khan’s party candidates were banned from using the party symbol cricket bat to help illiterate voters identify them on ballot papers, his candidates were forced to contest the elections as independents. Independents won at least 99 seats, the majority of which were loyal to Khan. PML-N got 71 seats, while Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got 53 seats.