The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) announced on Friday that its leader, Nawaz Sharif, is “all set to” deliver a “victory speech” following the final results of the general elections. The party is currently in contact with independent candidates supported by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, news agency PTI reported.
Pakistan witnessed general elections on Thursday, marked by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence, and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.
The Election Commission of Pakistan faced criticism for the slow announcement of results, with the first official results only being declared after substantial delays. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by Imran Khan, accused the commission of stealing its mandate.
Both PTI and PML-N are claiming victory in the elections, with Nawaz Sharif, a three-time former prime minister, seeking a record third term with the backing of the influential Army.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz, Sharif’s daughter, stated, “PML-N, Alhamdulillah emerging as the single largest party in the centre and Punjab. Some results awaited. MNS (Mian Nawaz Sharif) will head to PML-N HQ for the victory speech as soon as the final results are received. Insha’Allah. Stay tuned”.
As opposed to the false perception deliberately built by a section of media last night, PMLN, Alhamdolillah emerging as the single largest party in centre and in Punjab. Some results awaited. MNS will head to PMLN HQ for the victory speech as soon as final results are received.…
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) February 9, 2024
PML-N leader Ishaq Dar confirmed that independent candidates, expected to emerge victorious, are in contact with the party. “The independents have contacted us and they will join any party in the next 72 hours as per the Constitution,” he stated, as reported by news agency PTI.
Dar emphasised that the PML-N cannot compel anyone to join the party, noting that candidates willing to join their party are reaching out. “If independents did not join any political party, then they will lose reserved seats. The independents are not even close to PML-N’s success in Punjab.”
The Election Commission of Pakistan is gradually updating results, revealing PTI-backed independent candidates leading. It is to be noted that PTI candidates are running as independents after they were not allowed to use the party symbol – a cricket bat.
To form a government, a party must secure 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly, with 169 seats needed for a simple majority out of the total 336 seats, including reserved slots for women and minorities.
The delayed results prompted accusations of fraud, with PTI claiming victory but alleging manipulation. In response, PML-N maintained confidence in its success, with Maryam Aurangzeb stressing the volatility of preliminary results.
The caretaker Interior Ministry acknowledged concerns about result delays, attributing it to a “lack of communication” resulting from the mobile services suspension to ensure a peaceful election process. The restoration of cellphone and internet services followed the excruciating delay in result announcements, contributing to heightened confusion and allegations of foul play.