Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party PML-N is set to be the single largest party in the general election and the former premier has said he’s okay with forming a coalition government.
In a ‘victory’ speech, Sharif invited other political parties “to join us to form a government”. Sharif’s comments suggest that if a deal could be reached, the next government will be formed as a coalition of PML-N, PPP and smaller parties.
With over three-quarters of the votes counted for the 265 seats in the national assembly for which polling was held, PTI-backed candidates have won over 90 seats, the PML-N has bagged 69 and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) 52.
Sharif was seen to have the backing of Pakistan’s military, which has long been the country’s political power broker and has a history of meddling in its elections.
Voters across the country appeared to have come out in huge numbers to support Imran Khan and his party-backed candidates.
Pakistani army chief General Syed Asim Munir in a statement today said that the country must move on from “anarchy and polarisation” after the election.
Candidates backed by the main Opposition party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) run by Imran Khan who is now in jail, claimed a stunning victory.
The candidates defied all expectations that Sharif, a three-time prime minister, and his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) would win an easy majority.
Khan declared victory in an AI-generated audio-visual message on X, calling on his supporters to celebrate a win and congratulated them to celebrate a win despite the crackdown on his party.
However, analysts believe that without a simple majority, it would be a challenge for PTI to form a government.
In the buildup to the polls, the election commission barred the PTI from contesting the election, so the party candidates ran as independents.