Amidst fraud allegations in the just-concluded parliamentary polls in Pakistan, former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan on Thursday claimed victory and spelled out his vision for the country’s future.
Promising to build a new Pakistan, Khan appeared on TV to make a long address to the nation. He said, “thanks to God, we won and we were successful. If God wills, we will set an example.”
Though Pakistan’s election commission has not yet released official final results, Khan’s party, Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has emerged as the single largest party. It’s, however, not sure whether his party will form the government with the help of other party or it will be coalition government.
Election officials said that an official count confirming Pakistan’s next government was expected in the early hours of Friday, reported IANS. More than a dozen TV channels projected, based on undisclosed methodologies, that PTI would get as many as 119 seats of the 270 national assembly seats contested. A majority of 137 seats is needed to form a government.
Before even half the votes were counted, Khan’s leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the party of the jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, rejected the vote, generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next government.
In a series of tweets, he wrote, “Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) wholly rejects the results of General Elections 2018 due to manifest & massive irregularities. Form 45 was not given to our agents, results were stopped & votes were counted in the absence of our poll agents. This is both unbearable & unacceptable!
“The mandate of the millions of people who came out to vote has been humiliated. Our democratic process has been pushed back by decades. Had the public mandate been delivered in a fair manner, we would have accepted it happily.”
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari too tweeted saying that he had not received any official results from any constituency where he was contesting, despite it being past midnight.
His tweet read, “My candidates (have been) complaining (that) polling agents have been thrown out of polling stations across the country. Inexcusable and outrageous.”
Khan, however, rejected the allegations of poll fraud saying that “these have been the cleanest elections in Pakistan’s history.”
He said, “I will fully cooperate in scrutinising as many constituencies as opposition parties want.”