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Business News/ News / World/  Pakistan Election Results 2024: Shehbaz Sharif wins Lahore, Imran's allies bag 21 out of 50 seats. Check latest updates
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Pakistan Election Results 2024: Shehbaz Sharif wins Lahore, Imran's allies bag 21 out of 50 seats. Check latest updates

Shehbaz Sharif of PML-N has won both National and Provincial Assembly seats in Lahore, while independent candidates backed by Imran Khan have secured 21 out of 50 seats counted so far.

Pakistan Election Results 2024: Pakistan's former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif (C) leaves after casting his ballot to vote at a polling station during national elections in Lahore on February 8, 2024. Millions of Pakistanis voted on February 8 in an election marred by allegations of poll rigging, with the country's most popular politician in jail and a military-favoured candidate tipped to win. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is expected to win the most seats in February 8 vote, with analysts saying its 74-year-old founder Nawaz Sharif has won the blessing of the generals. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (AFP)Premium
Pakistan Election Results 2024: Pakistan's former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif (C) leaves after casting his ballot to vote at a polling station during national elections in Lahore on February 8, 2024. Millions of Pakistanis voted on February 8 in an election marred by allegations of poll rigging, with the country's most popular politician in jail and a military-favoured candidate tipped to win. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is expected to win the most seats in February 8 vote, with analysts saying its 74-year-old founder Nawaz Sharif has won the blessing of the generals. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (AFP)

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has won both National and Provincial Assembly seats in Lahore, as reported by Pakistan-based ARY News on Friday, citing the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Independent candidates supported by former Prime Minister Imran Khan have secured 21 out of the 50 seats counted so far, according to the report from GEO News.

Also Read: Pakistan Election Results 2024 Live Updates

It is to be further noted that a political party needs to secure at least 133 seats out of the total 272 seats in parliament to achieve a simple majority. In NA-123, Shehbaz Sharif emerged victorious with 63,953 votes, defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidate Afzal Azeem who received 48,486 votes.

Also Read: Pakistan Elections: ‘There are expectations that Nawaz Sharif will return’, says former High Commission of India to Pak

Rigging Allegations

Accusations of election rigging loomed large, further fueled by the authorities' decision to shut down the country's mobile phone network on voting day, ostensibly citing security grounds.

Polling experts forecasted a minimal voter turnout among the country's 128 million eligible voters, citing a lackluster campaign marked by the incarceration of Khan and legal obstacles hindering the PTI. These impediments included court rulings, bans on rallies, and harassment of party leaders.

Digital rights activist Usama Khilji said the mobile service blackout “strengthens the popular perception that the elections are rigged by the deep state", AFP reported.

As reported by AFP, Raoof Hasan, PTI's secretary for information, said in a video statement that party agents in the field had reported PTI candidates leading in 125 constituencies. “An effort may be afoot to tamper with the results," he said of the delay in announcements from ECP headquarters.

Gohar Khan, chairman of Imran Khan's PTI party, asserted in a statement on X that their party was leading in over 150 seats, yet expressed concern over alleged attempts to manipulate the results. On the other hand, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, led by Sharif's party, claimed its intention to establish a government in Islamabad. Marriyum Aurangzeb, the information secretary, emphasized the party's confidence in its “strong" position.

Khan, who faced imprisonment last year following a conviction in one of the more than 170 legal cases filed against him, has maintained his status as Pakistan's most popular politician. He orchestrated demonstrations targeting both Sharif and the military following his removal in a 2022 confidence vote.

Also Read: Pakistan Elections: Jailed ex-PM Imran Khan's allies outperform; PTI alleges mass rigging as results delayed. 10 point

The postponement of election results was attributed to the suspension of mobile phone services nationwide, coupled with militant attacks resulting in the deaths of at least 12 individuals in remote provinces bordering Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry issued a statement on Friday morning citing a “lack of communication" as the primary cause for the delay in results, which was compounded by precautionary security measures.

Also Read: Pakistan Elections 2024: Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto lead race; why the outcome is crucial for India?

In a setback for Sharif, a senator from his own party, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, shared a screenshot of early unofficial counts on X, revealing a significant lead for independent candidates backed by Khan. Sayed characterized this development as “probably the biggest election upset in Pakistan’s political history in the last 50 years."

However, his account on X was withheld after this post in response to a legal demand.

Sharif faced a setback when a senator from his own party, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, posted early unofficial vote counts on X, but later, the account became inaccessible. (Photo: X)
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Sharif faced a setback when a senator from his own party, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, posted early unofficial vote counts on X, but later, the account became inaccessible. (Photo: X)

Sharif, having returned from exile in London, was acquitted of corruption charges last year, which cleared the path for his fourth bid to lead Pakistan. Analysts perceive him as being supported by the influential military establishment as a potential replacement for Khan.

The incoming leader will face the challenge of managing a significant debt burden and will have to engage in negotiations for a new bailout package from the IMF. Pakistan's current nine-month IMF bailout program, the 23rd since the country's independence in 1947, is set to conclude next month.

Pakistan's history is marked by extensive military rule, with the military exerting substantial influence over elected officials. Nawaz Sharif, for instance, experienced being ousted in a 1999 coup and has endured periods of exile throughout his political career.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 09 Feb 2024, 11:51 AM IST
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