Amid allegations of election rigging in Pakistan’s general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered re-polling in some polling stations, scheduled for February 15. The results are still pending for nearly ten seats in the National Assembly, leaving the country without a clear victor.
Independent candidates, supported by imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan, have secured the most seats, aiming to form the government. PTI chairman Gohar Ali Khan emphasized respecting the people’s mandate and claimed that Imran Khan, despite being incarcerated, would decide the next Prime Minister. The PTI threatened peaceful protests if results weren’t released promptly.
According to the ECP, PTI-backed independents won over 100 seats, surpassing Sharif’s PML-N with 72 seats and PPP with 54. The delay in results stems from technical glitches, internet outages, and sporadic attacks during counting.
Former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan claimed victory, but neither party has enough seats to form a government alone. Sharif invited allies for a coalition government, acknowledging his party’s shortfall. Imran Khan ridiculed Sharif’s claims, calling them unsuccessful.
Despite PTI-backed independents leading, they cannot form a government independently under Pakistan’s electoral laws. To do so, they must align with a party and are ineligible for reserved seats. Imran Khan thanked voters despite his legal battles and mocked Sharif’s strategy.
Amid rigging allegations, President Arif Alvi advocated for electronic voting machines (EVMs), a long-standing PTI demand. PTI, PPP, and PML-N have filed petitions over alleged rigging. Pakistan Army Chief praised the election’s conduct, emphasizing the need for stability.
International observers, including the US, UK, and EU, expressed concerns over rigging and fraud claims, urging thorough investigations and a democratic process.
A party must secure 133 seats out of 265 to form a government. With one seat postponed due to a candidate’s death, 169 seats are required for a simple majority out of 336, including reserved slots.
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