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Pakistan General Election 2024: Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif claim poll win as results drag on

Former Pakistani Prime Ministers and bitter rivals – Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, on Friday, declared individual victory in elections marred by delayed results and militant attacks, throwing the country into further political turmoil.

Pakistan General Election 2024 Imran Khan Nawaz Sharif claim poll win as results drag on gcw
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First Published Feb 10, 2024, 8:48 AM IST

Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, the fierce rivals and former prime ministers of Pakistan, both declared victory on Friday in elections tainted by tampered results and terrorist assaults, destabilizing the nation even more.

In Thursday's election, followers of the imprisoned Khan campaigned as independents rather than as a single party after his party was banned from the elections, and they ended up winning the most seats overall. Sharif's party had the most seats won by a single party.

Having failed to secure a clear majority on its own, Sharif announced that his party will engage with other parties to create a coalition administration.

Sharif made his declaration more than 24 hours after election concluded on Thursday, the day 28 people were killed in militant strikes, and more than 75 percent of the 265 seats had results declared.

The results revealed that independents, who were mostly supported by Khan, had taken the most seats (181 out of 245, as of 1830 GMT).

The Pakistan People's Party of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the deceased premier Benazir Bhutto's son, received 51 votes, while Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) received 69.

An artificial intelligence-generated audio-visual message was issued by Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and uploaded on his X social media account.

Usually communicating by word through his attorneys, Khan, 71, thanked his followers on "winning" the election, denied Sharif's claim to victory, and advised them to rejoice and safeguard their vote in the message.

The 74-year-old former prime minister, who ran in the most recent election from a prison cell due to a corruption conviction, returned to the United Kingdom late last year after four years of self-imposed exile. Having put an end to a protracted conflict with the formidable military, he was seen as the front-runner to rule the nation.

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