ISLAMABAD, July 27 - Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan�s party today emerged as the single largest in Pakistan�s parliamentary polls bagging 114 of the 270 seats on which elections were held, but fell short of a majority and will need the support of smaller parties or independents to form the government.
Khan�s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was followed by jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif�s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 62 seats and former President Asif Ali Zardari�s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 43 seats. Independent candidates won 12 seats, according to the election commission which issued results for 261 seats of the National Assembly today.
Pakistan�s National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected. A party can only form the government if it manages to clinch 172 seats in total.
In his first speech that was broadcast live via video link yesterday, Khan claimed victory in the elections and said that he was ready to investigate allegations of rigging in the polls.
�Anyone who has issues of rigging; we will help you facilitate and we will open up any constituency that you want for investigation,� Khan said, amid allegations by the six major parties, including PML-N and PPP, of foul play in the counting process.
However, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif reiterated his party�s allegations, saying the polls had been �stolen� and the �tainted and dubious� results would cast a �bad impact� on the country�s politics, according to a number of his party leaders who visited the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi to meet him after the elections.
Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of traditional religious parties like Jamat-i-Islami, has clinched 12 seats, while Pakistan Muslim League of former Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi won 5 seats.
Karachi-based Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is among the biggest losers as it got just 6 seats out of 20 in Karachi, according to ECP results.
In the 342-member National Assembly, the PTI�s strength will be 160 after acquiring 29 women�s reserved seats and 4 or 5 reserved seats for minorities, according to experts. � PTI