Islamabad, February 10, 2024 : Pakistan is on the brink of a hung parliament as independent candidates, backed by the imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, have emerged victorious in the majority of contested seats. Despite claims of victory from both key rivals, Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, the nation remains without a clear winner.
The latest data from the Election Commission reveals that out of the 265 constituencies, results for 226 have been declared. Independent candidates, largely supported by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, secured 92 seats. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won 64 seats, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) secured 50, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement claimed 12, and other parties collectively obtained 8 seats.
To form a government, a party must secure at least 133 seats out of the 265 in the National Assembly. Currently, 169 seats are needed for a simple majority out of a total of 336, including reserved slots for women and minorities. One seat’s election was postponed following the death of a candidate.
Thursday’s general election, marred by rigging allegations, sporadic violence, and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown, continues to witness ongoing vote counting. Despite the chaos, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari engaged in talks in Lahore, hinting at a potential collaboration.
Breaking away from his previous stance of avoiding alliances, Nawaz Sharif emphasized the need for all political parties to unite and form a government to address Pakistan’s challenges. In a statement on Friday, Sharif stated, “We can’t hold elections again and again. Our party has emerged as the single largest winning party in the country after Thursday’s polls. To steer Pakistan out of crises, we want other parties to join hands to form a coalition government.”
As the nation awaits the finalization of election results, the possibility of a coalition government looms large, emphasizing the critical need for political unity in Pakistan’s challenging political landscape.
This report is based on the latest information from the Election Commission and PTI inputs.