Imran Khan’s PTI-Backed Candidates Lead In Pakistan Polls, Nawaz Sharif Aide Hints At Coalition

Islamabad: The ongoing polls in Pakistan appear to be tilting in favour of imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan, with his supporters, primarily independents, securing the majority of the 106 seats counted so far.

According to provisional results released by Pakistan poll body, PTI-backed candidates have emerged victorious in 24 seats, PML-N in 8, PPP(P) in 18, JUI-F in none, and others have won in five seats.

Imran Khan is currently in jail, and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was disqualified from participating in the election. However, his supporters chose to run as independents and have achieved unexpectedly strong results, surpassing predictions.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of the late leader Benazir Bhutto, are the primary contenders in the electoral race.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif’s aide Ishaq Dar said that his party will make a coalition government with independent winners. “The independents have contacted us, and they will join any party in the next 72 hours as per the Constitution,” said the former finance minister while speaking to Geo News on Friday.

The elections concluded on Wednesday amidst accusations of rigging and disruptions in cellular and internet services. Despite these challenges, on Thursday, amidst the aftermath of twin bombings that resulted in a death toll of at least 30, marking the most severe election-related violence preceding the contested elections, Pakistani citizens went ahead to cast their votes for the new government.

However, there have been reports of significant delays in the counting process, attributed by the government to a “lack of connectivity.”  The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan, Sikandar Sultan Raja, has reached out to the Chief Secretaries, District Returning Officers (DROs), and Provincial Election Commissioners, issuing stringent directives to ensure prompt announcement of election results. according to a release cited by The News International.

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