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Imran Khan’s Party Demands To Form Government

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Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan’s party plans to form a government if final election results are not released. The country, which has 241 million people, has been grappling with an economic crisis and militant violence in a deeply polarized political environment.

Both Khan and his main rival, Nawaz Sharif, declared victory on Friday, increasing uncertainty over who will form the next government. Gohar Khan, the chairman of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf (PTI) party, called on all institutions in Pakistan to respect his party’s mandate. If complete poll results are not released by Saturday night, the party will hold peaceful protests outside government offices to return election results around the country.

Hundreds of Khan’s supporters rallied in Peshawar, led by two of his aides who said they had been declared losers despite having won the polls. Khan’s close aide and media adviser, Zulfi Bukhari, told Reuters that the party would announce within the next day the party banner they will ask independents to join.

In Pakistan, independent candidates cannot form a government on their own and need to join a party. The Pakistan Peoples Party of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari remains a major player with at least 53 seats, while the rest were won by small parties and other independents.

This sets up a period of intense political negotiations before a parliamentary vote to elect a new prime minister and government can take place. Pakistan’s army chief congratulated the country on Saturday for the “successful conduct” of the election, saying the nation needed “stable hands” to move on from the politics of “anarchy and polarisation.”

The United States, Britain, and the European Union expressed concerns about the electoral process, urging a probe into reported irregularities. Pakistan’s foreign office responded to the comments on Saturday, saying they ignored the “undeniable fact” that the election had been successfully conducted.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called on those with grievances over the election to raise them in line with the laws of Pakistan.

(Reuters)

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