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Imran's PTI calls for protests as Sharif, Bhutto push for coalition
In an unexpected outcome of one of the most controversial elections in Pakistan's history, independent candidates backed by jailed former PM Imran Khan have won a lion's share of the seats in the National Assembly as the counting of votes finally concluded on Sunday.
Islamabad: In an unexpected outcome of one of the most controversial elections in Pakistan's history, independent candidates backed by jailed former PM Imran Khan have won a lion's share of the seats in the National Assembly as the counting of votes finally concluded on Sunday.
The final results put independents, backed by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf(PTI), in the lead with 93 of 264 seats. The party of another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was second with 75 seats after Thursday's vote, lacking a clear majority but it was the largest single party in parliament as Khan's independents ran as individuals. As coalition talks were held and protesters blocked roads in the north of the country, it was not clear who would form a government. The final tally of votes was published by the Election Commission more than 60 hours after voting ended, raising questions over the delay.
However, even as PTI-backed candidates have gained a majority of the votes, the PML-N is attempting to form a government as the largest single political party, most likely in an alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and/or others.
In a post on X, PTI leader Hammad Azhar conveyed a message to all PTI supporters, urging them to stay calm and peaceful. Emphasizing the party's commitment to the rule of law and the democratic process, he discouraged clashes and violence, advising supporters to step back if provoked and instead capture any provocative incidents on footage. Pakistan police issued a warning against illegal gatherings as the party of jailed Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), urged supporters to protest alleged rigging in the recent elections.