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Pakistan Elections: How Imran Khan Can Pave the Road to PM's Chair

As of 2 am on Thursday morning, PTI could only muster 109 NA seats. This left the Imran Khan-led outfit 28 seats short of the majority mark of 137 seats.

News18.com

Updated:July 26, 2018, 7:09 AM IST
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Pakistan Elections: How Imran Khan Can Pave the Road to PM's Chair
Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: As the counting of votes in the Pakistan election spilled over into the early hours of the morning, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the country’s National Assembly. However, Imran Khan’s dream of becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan will require negotiation with smaller political outfits as the PTI came up just short of a majority mark.

As of 2 am on Thursday morning, PTI could only muster 109 NA seats. This left the Imran Khan-led outfit 28 seats short of the majority mark of 137 seats. According to the trends, Khan can stitch together a coalition of disparate political groups to come together and support his bid for Prime Minister. Initially, it was being speculated that the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) led by controversial cleric Fazlur Rehman may throw its weight behind Khan. However, as Fazlur Rehman joined the chorus of the PML (N) and PPP in claiming that there was large scale rigging in the election, the field has been thrown open to further speculation.



Pakistani media reports are indicating that of the 23 independents who were leading as of 2 am, 18 are likely to support Imran Khan. This would take the PTI’s numbers from 109 to 127, just 10 short of the magic number. If Fazlur Rehman decides to support Imran Khan eventually, PTI will have no problem forming the government. If he doesn’t, it will have to look to other groups for support. The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) with 6 leads, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement with 5 leads and the PML (Q) with 4 leads are all possible members of what the Pakistani press has started calling ‘Team Imran’.

Meanwhile, the results for elections to provincial assemblies were also being tabulated in Pakistan. While the PPP swept its stronghold of Sindh, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province reposed its faith in the PTI. In Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous and politically most important province, the electorate threw up a hung house with Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N) emerging as the single largest party but falling short of a majority. PTI ended up a close second in the Provincial Assembly of Punjab.
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