Independent candidates backed by Imran Khan's PTI lead Pakistan elections

While final results are yet to be declared, independent candidates, mainly backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan are in the lead in Pakistan's elections, state media reported.

The independents supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party are ahead of two major parties, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and three-time ex-Premier Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced provisional results of 258 out of 266 direct seats of the lower house, the National Assembly. The independents won 102 seats, mostly backed by the PTI, followed by the PML-N getting 76, and PPP grabbing 54.

The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), a regional party based in commercial hub Karachi, and Hyderabad, surprisingly won 17 National Assembly seats.

More than 20 seats have been won by several other regional parties.

Elections on two constituencies will be held later due to the death of a candidate, and incomplete polling respectively.

According to local broadcaster Geo News, some 92 out of 102 total independents belong to the PTI.

In a related development, three independent candidates on Saturday announced joining the PML-N, raising the party's strength to 76 in the lower house.

A party requires 169 seats in a 336-member National Assembly to form the government with a simple majority.

Provincial positions

In Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province, the PML-N was ahead of others, while the independents led in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, comfortably in a position to form the government.

In the southern Sindh province, the PPP has won a majority, while in southwestern Balochistan, the country's largest province in terms of land, a coalition government is expected as no party has seats required for a simple majority.


Source: TRT