Sun 11 February 2024:
Candidates, mostly linked to jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political party, won the most seats as Pakistan’s election commission announced on Sunday final results of the Feb. 8 general elections.
The independents got 101 seats, followed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) winning 75, while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party managed to grab 55.
Election in two constituencies will be held later due to the death of one candidate, and incomplete polling, respectively.
A party requires 169 seats in the 336-member National Assembly to form the government with a simple majority.
What’s happened so far?
- Independent candidates linked to Khan’s PTI have taken most seats, scuppering the chances of army-backed Nawaz Sharif of the PMLN to win a ruling majority.
- Final results announced earlier on Sunday showed PTI-backed independents winning 97 seats, PMLN 76, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) 54, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) 17.
- PTI claims its candidates would have won even more seats if not for vote rigging, and has called for nationwide protests.
- Police impose restrictions on “illegal gatherings” after Khan’s PTI and other parties urged supporters to protest alleged rigging in Thursday’s election.
- Nationwide voting-day mobile phone blackout and slow counting of results led to suspicions the “establishment”, a euphemism for the military, was influencing the process to ensure success for PMLN’s Sharif, a three-time prime minister.
President says mandate should be respected
“They have put their faith in democracy. This belief is very precious, it will write history and must be recognised,” he wrote. “Nothing can crystallise unless this huge mandate of my citizens is respected and recognised.”
A protest was held outside the returning officers’ office – this is the place that releases Form 45, which confirms the winning candidate.
There was a peaceful, festive mood, the police were there and let this protest take place after which they dispersed.
The PTI-backed independent who was contesting the parliamentary seat in this constituency, which has more than 400,000 voters, claimed he won the election but the results were changed.
Now MQM denies alliance deal with PMLN
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has denied any deal with the PMLN, which was claimed by the latter’s Marriyum Aurangzeb earlier on Sunday.
MQM convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told reporters in Karachi there is “no truth” in the news about the coalition agreement with PMLN at the moment.
He said the two parties instead discussed how to deal with the problems and threats facing the country in their meeting in Lahore.
Siddiqui said the election has created a challenging situation and that everyone needs to work together to “save the country”.
“The results have clearly indicated that no single party possesses a simple majority to establish a government,” said Zahid Hussain, a political analyst and author.
“The political future of the country from this point onward is highly uncertain.”
Final results could take another week
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has to issue a notification to all the winning candidates. However, the results of 10 parliamentary seats have been put on hold, pending a review and decision from the ECP.
After that, about 70 reserved seats have to be allocated depending on which party has what possession. Ten of the seats are for minorities and 60 for women.
We are looking at probably another week if all the results are announced and all the polling station results with disputes are resolved by the election commission. It could take longer.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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