Imran Khan’s Party Claims Victory In Pak Elections; Sharif’s PML-N Makes Counterclaim

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 9: Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s party on Friday claimed victory in the general elections while alleging that results were being delayed to rig the outcome.
In a statement, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party also asked PML-N’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, who was the favourite to win as he was backed by the powerful Army, to concede defeat.
The PML-N, however, rejected the demand and claimed that it was winning Thursday’s elections.
Votes are still being counted in Pakistan after Thursday’s general election which was marred by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.
There were dozens of parties in the fray but the main contest was among Khan’s PTI, whose candidates are running as independents, former three-time premier Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
In a statement on X from the PTI official handle, the party stated that it won more than 150 NA seats out of 265 open for contest as per the data received in Form 45s, which are the primary source of election results at the lowest level and show the votes for each candidate at each polling station.
A party must win 133 seats out of 265 being contested to form the next government.
“Copies of these forms have been collected by PTI candidates’ polling agents, which show them winning by a large majority. According to independent reports, PTI has won well over 150 National Assembly seats & is in a solid position to form government in Federal, Punjab & KP (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), with a clear majority,” it stated.
“However, manipulation of the results in the late hours of the night is an utter disgrace & a brazen theft of the nation’s mandate. The people of Pakistan vehemently reject the rigged results. The world is watching,” it asserted.
In another statement, PTI alleged that its mandate was being stolen.
“Let the world know that the clear and overwhelming mandate of the people of Pakistan is being stolen. Despite unprecedented pre-poll rigging & oppression, there was a record, massive turnout on polling day,” it stated The party said that every independent candidate backed by it was winning by a landslide.
It also said that Returning Officers are now manipulating the results using Form 47, which is a summary of Form 45 from each polling station. “Furthermore, there are reports of the polling agents getting abducted & forced to sign fake Form 45s,” it said.
It also referred to unspecified reports to claim that “PTI nominated candidates (were) losing suddenly in various constituencies now, after they had already won by a clear majority”.
In another statement, the party asked Sharif to concede defeat.
“Show some grace @NawazSharifMNS, accept the defeat! The people of Pakistan will never accept you. This is a golden opportunity to regain some credibility as a Democrat. Daylight robbery is going to be rejected massively by Pakistan!” it said in a statement on X.
PML-N has countered the PTI claim about results and said that it was winning.
“Based on data compiled in PMLN Election Cell and results already in the public domain, PMLN has emerged as the single largest political party in the National Assembly and a clear majority party in Punjab Assembly,” according to party leader Ishaq Dar.
He also said that “premature and biased speculations” must be avoided as the country awaits the official complete results from ECP. (Agencies)