Home Foreign Party of Pakistan’s jailed ex-PM concedes election to Imran Khan

Party of Pakistan’s jailed ex-PM concedes election to Imran Khan


Islamabad   –     Pakistan’s former ruling party conceded the country’s disputed election to cricket legend-turned politician Imran Khan as final results were expected on Friday, paving the way for Khan to begin searching for coalition partners.

Khan, during a speech declaring victory on Thursday, offered to investigate opposition claims of vote-rigging and vowed to improve relations with neighbours India and Afghanistan, while calling for “mutually beneficial” ties with the United States.

The party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s initially rejected the so far incomplete results, but by Friday its leaders appeared to accept that Khan would be the next prime minister.

“We are going to sit on opposition benches, in spite of all the reservations,” said Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, a parliamentarian and the nephew of Nawaz Sharif, who is in prison after being convicted on corruption charges he disputes.

The allegations of rigging in Wednesday’s election followed a bitter campaign in which Pakistan’s powerful military was accused of tilting the race in favour of Khan, and trying to erase democratic gains made since the most recent spell of military rule ended in 2008.

Although Khan appeared likely to fall short of the 137 seats needed for a majority in the National Assembly, his better-than-expected results mean he should have no problems forming a government with a handful of small coalition partners.

One of the first tasks for Khan, once he forms the government, will be to avert a currency crisis, which follows four devaluations of the rupee currency since December.

The latest Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) official partial results showed Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice party, had won 115 seats out of the National Assembly has 272 seats in total.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)had 62 seats, the results showed. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of assassinated two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was third with 43 seats.

“(PML-N) would play the role of a strong opposition,” said Shehbaz Sharif, the PML-N president and brother of Nawaz Sharif, according to the English-language Dawn newspaper.

Khan’s party also appears to have succeeded in wresting control of the local assembly in Pakistan’s biggest province, Punjab, from the Sharifs.

Previous articleRamaphosa to Putin: weak economy means South Africa can’t sign nuclear deal yet
Next articleTV’s Roseanne says, tweet ‘cost me everything,’ but wasn’t racist

Leave a Reply