Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Pakistan election: Imran Khan's victory confirmed by officials as ex-cricket star falls short of majority

Mr Khan will wait for final 19 seats to declare before he begins process of coalition building

Adam Withnall,Maija Liuhto
Friday 27 July 2018 06:35 BST
Counting was inordinately slow after electronic systems failed
Counting was inordinately slow after electronic systems failed (REUTERS)

Imran Khan has won Pakistan's general election, official results finally confirmed, although he has fallen short of an outright majority and will need a coalition to form a government.

Provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday morning showed Mr Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice party, had won 110 seats out of the 251 races where counting had ended. The National Assembly had 270 contested seats at this election in total.

Mr Khan will wait for the final 19 seats to declare their results before he begins the process of coalition building, and while he will now fall short of the 137 seats needed for a majority in the lower chamber of Parliament, his better-than-expected results mean he should have no problems forming a government with a handful of small partners.

In a speech declaring victory before official results had been released on Thursday evening, Mr Khan described the vote as "the fairest election ever" but offered to investigate opposition claims of rigging and open up individual polling stations to scrutiny.

That was in response to the united front offered by all five of Pakistan's other main political parties, who rejected the result of the election on the grounds of alleged irregularities.

Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the second-placed Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) party of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has said the count was rigged amid extensive delays, and vowed to offer evidence to the ECP. Both the PML-N and PPP say their party monitors at many voting centres were either kicked out during counting or had not received the official notifications of the precinct's results, instead being given handwritten tallies they could not verify.

Pakistan's election monitoring body and a team from the European Union were scheduled to deliver their assessments of the conduct of the election on Friday. The Human Rights Commission raised concerns on Thursday that some women were prevented from voting and in other areas, it said "polling staff appeared to be biased toward a certain party," without naming the party.

But those issues did not stop PTI dancing in the street on Thursday night. Speaking to The Independent outside Mr Khan's house, supporters - many of them young Pashtuns from the country’s troubled tribal areas – had high expectations of the change he had promised to bring.

“We need a leader like him, we don’t want thieves or a mafia in the form of Nawaz Sharif or [Asif Ali] Zardari,” said Saleem Afridi, a 32-year-old PTI supporter.

“He has promised he will give approximately 10 million jobs to Pakistanis,” Jawad Khan, 19, from Waziristan said. “He will manage. It will be a great change.”

According to Mr Zaidi, Mr Khan and his party will have no choice but to act swiftly.

“They’ll be competing with a very strong and robust scrutiny, not only from the opposition parties but from Pakistan’s vocal and boisterous commentary which will be looking very carefully to judge whether or not Imran Khan’s promises of change have any substance or not.”

In his speech on Thursday, Mr Khan called for a more balanced relationship with the US and said friendship with India was in the best interests of both countries.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in