Pakistan elections Amid rigging rumours, Imran’s PTI claims victory on 170 seats
IN A major political development, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has claimed that it has won 170 out of 265 National Assembly seats and is set to form an alliance with Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), Pakistan-based ‘The Nation’ reported on Saturday. This comes even though the counting for the polls is underway and the independent candidates mostly backed by the PTI, have clinched victory on 100 seats. PTI leader Barrister Gohar Khan alleged that there was an attempt to “shape” the seats won by PTI into defeat. He also called on the party workers to protest outside the offices of Returning Officers (RO) tomorrow, where results got ‘delayed’, ‘Dawn’ reported. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, he claimed that the PTI has won 170 National Assembly seats out of the 265 where elections were held. “We claim with great certitude that right now, the PTI has achieved a lead on 170 seats of the National Assembly,” Khan said. “Out of these, 94 are those that the ECP is admitting and has issued Form-47 (provisional results).” Gohar further said that 22 seats -- including three of Islamabad, four of Sindh and the rest of Punjab -- were those where, according to Form-45, the PTI had won but were “converted to a defeat”. He alleged that there was an “apparent attempt to shape the winning seats of the PTI into defeats.”
Notably, Imran Khan was disqualified from contesting the elections due to criminal convictions. The electoral symbol of the PTI was also taken away by the ECP, in a ruling later backed by the Pakistan apex court. As a result, the PTI leaders and supporters contested as independent candidates, Dawn reported. According to the unofficial provisional results reported by Geo News on 255 out of 265 seats show the independent candidates, mostly backed by PTI are leading on 100 seats, followed by PML-N and PPP at 73 and 54, respectively. In the provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the independents are leading on 91 seats, followed by PML-N and PPP at 71 and 54, respectively. Gohar Ali Khan claimed that President Arif Alvi would invite his party to form the government as they had secured a majority in the National Assembly, according to a media report. To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 in the Assembly. Election to one seat was postponed after the death of a candidate.
Overall, 169 seats are needed to secure a simple majority out of its total 336 seats, which include the reserved slots for women and minorities. The PTI leader has also called on party workers and supporters to hold a protest on Sunday outside the offices of returning officers in constituencies where the poll results were being “withheld and delayed”. “According to [Imran] Khan sahib’s instructions, the areas in which our results were withheld and delayed -- we will share that list with you -- and intentionally our majority is being converted...to turn a winning seat into a defeat,” Dawn quoted Gohar as saying. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s powerful army chief Gen Asim Munir urged the country’s polarised political leadership to form a “unified government of all democratic forces”, as he backed ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s plea to his rivals to help form a coalition government after the general elections appear to have produced a hung Parliament.