Pakistan election

In a joint statement, the PPP of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the PMLN of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif announced their intention to cooperate in bringing political stability.

The action is probably going to infuriate Mr. Khan’s supporters if they do form a government.

Since his PTI party was not allowed to run in the election, the majority of its candidates declared themselves independents.

In Rawalpindi, police had earlier used tear gas to scatter a group of Mr. Khan’s supporters.

The final results showed that 101 seats in the National Assembly were gained by independents. PTI-backed candidates received 93 of them, according to a BBC investigation.

They are now ahead of the PPP (who gained 54) and the PMLN (who won 75).

The two parties controlled until last August after forming an agreement in 2022 to remove Mr. Khan from office.

The MQM party, which is centered in Karachi, has also unexpectedly returned to prominence in the polls, securing 17 seats, and it may be included in any alliance.

While the dispute rages on, unsuccessful independent candidates have filled the courts with claims of vote-rigging.

Mr. Sharif’s PMLN and the PTI, which was barred from participating in the election, both declare their intention to create the next government.

The outcome was unexpected because most analysts had predicted that Mr. Sharif’s party, which is popularly believed to have the support of the strong military, would prevail given that Mr. Khan had been imprisoned on corruption-related and unlawful marriage-related charges and that his party was not allowed to appear on the ballot.

A candidate must demonstrate that they are in charge of a coalition with a simple majority of 169 National Assembly seats in order to win the right to lead.

Out of the 366 seats in the National legislature, 266 are chosen by direct voting, while the remaining 70 are set aside for women (60 seats) and non-Muslims (10 seats). These seats are distributed based on the number of representatives from each party in the legislature.

Independent candidates are not entitled to reserved seats in parliament under Pakistani regulations.

Protests against the results have been called by the PTI and a number of other parties, who claim they have been manipulated.

Election results in Pakistan: winners and losers

Barbed wire and big vehicles were used by the police to block the streets around the Rawalpindi election commission headquarters on Sunday, preventing any demonstrators from entering.

A group of several hundred demonstrators chanted in the street for almost ninety minutes. Then the mood changed. After the gathering was dispersed by multiple rounds of tear gas fired by the police, they departed the area.

The BBC was informed by the Punjab police that section 144, a statute from the colonial era, prohibited gatherings of more than four persons.

Prior to the election, this prohibition had been in force until February 12th, but it only stated that people were not permitted to carry firearms—not that they were not allowed to congregate.

crowd protesting against alleged rigging

The chairman of the PTI had called for nonviolent demonstrations outside the offices of the electoral commission because they were worried about “forged” results.

According to Pakistani media, election officials “falsely changed” the results of at least 18 National Assembly seats, according to the PTI party.

Mr. Sharif, who is regarded as having military support, asked other parties to assist him in forming a unity government on Saturday.

Experts have cautioned Pakistan may be in for a “prolonged period of political instability” when talks between Mr. Khan’s competing political parties begin.

Dr. Farzana Shaikh of the Chatham House think tank informed the BBC that many people were afraid that any alliance between Mr. Sharif and the PPP would lead to a “weak and unstable coalition” and that the independents connected to Khan were unlikely to be permitted to form a government.

In the meantime, at least six PTI-backed candidates who lost have filed lawsuits in an attempt to have the results annulled.

Yasmin Rashid is one of them; she opposed Mr. Sharif in Lahore. The petitioners claim there was cooperation in changing certain election outcomes.

Officials from Pakistan have refuted any anomalies. According to reports, the PMLN has also assembled a legal team to investigate claims of manipulation.