Independents Backed by Imran Khan Lead in Pakistan’s National Election Results

The counting of votes for Pakistan’s national election wrapped up on Sunday (Feb 11), showcasing independents, largely supported by the imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan, securing 101 out of 264 seats, according to the election commission’s website.

These independents were trailed by the party of Nawaz Sharif, another ex-Prime Minister, which captured 75 seats, making it the largest single party in the parliament since Khan’s supporters ran as individuals.

This final count came more than 60 hours after the conclusion of Thursday’s national elections, prompting scrutiny over the counting delay.

Earlier the Election Commission had barred PTI from using its bat symbol, preventing it from officially participating in the election. Consequently, PTI candidates had to run as independents. The 2024 general election saw significant competition among three key parties: Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Consequently, none of Pakistan’s three major parties will secure the 169 seats needed for a majority in parliament, leaving the future prime minister’s identity uncertain.

An AI-generated speech by Khan, who has been imprisoned since August, was released on Friday, in which he declared victory and urged his followers to safeguard their vote.

Despite being incarcerated, Khan has continued to communicate with his supporters through AI technology, expressing gratitude for their overwhelming turnout at the polls.

Sharif, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Khan’s rival, contended that his PMLN party had obtained the most significant number of seats but acknowledged the lack of a majority to form a government alone, indicating a search for coalition partners. Sharif, whose previous term was cut short by a military coup, is thought to be the military’s preferred candidate, though the military has denied any favoritism.