Pakistan: Sharif claims victory, urges parties to join hands for coalition govt

A party requires 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly to form the govt

Pakistan elections Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, center waves with his brother Shehbaz Sharif, right, and daughter Maryam Nawaz, to supporters following initial results of the country's parliamentary election, in Lahore | AP

Ahead of the official declaration, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started celebrations announcing his victory in the general elections on Friday.

Sharif said his political party has emerged as the "largest" in the vote and will discuss forming a coalition government. However, Sharif did not disclose how many seats his party had won in total.

Addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supporters at the party's central secretariat, Sharif said his party respects the mandate of all parties, including candidates backed by PTI.

Sharif also said there is a need for all the political parties to sit together and form a government to pull Pakistan out of its difficulties.

"We can't hold elections again and again, he said. "We were all sitting together yesterday but didn't address you because the results were not in...We are inviting everyone today to rebuild this injured Pakistan and sit with us, he said as the country appeared heading towards a hung parliament," said Sharif.

He also added that everyone should sit in harmony and bring Pakistan out of the difficulties.

A party must require 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly to form the government. 

Amid rigging allegations, election commission is yet to make an official announcement on the results. As counting ended in over half the seats, PTI-backed candidates were in lead.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) data, with results of 224 constituencies declared, PTI-backed independents won 92 seats, while PML-N got 63, and PPP won in 50 seats.

Overall, 169 seats are needed to secure a simple majority out of its total 336 seats, which include the reserved slots for women and minorities.

Being behind the bars, Imran Khan was barred from contesting the elections. While PTI candidates were running as independents after they were not allowed to use the party symbol - a cricket 'bat'.

Earlier, PTI had ruled out all possibilities of forming an alliance with the PPP and PML-N. According to PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Khan, his party is in a position to form a federal government.

"We are not intending to form a coalition government with PPP and PML-N," he said.

Meanwhile, Sharif had won by a big margin by getting 171,024 votes against PTI-backed independent Dr Yasmin Rashid who polled 115,043 in Lahore.


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