| Elections

Imran Khan declares victory as nation awaits official tally

Pakistan Forward and AFP

Pakistanis react after early unofficial election results favour former cricket champion Imran Khan. [JUSTINE GERARDY, RATEB NOORI / AFPTV / AFP]

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan claimed victory Thursday (July 26) in the country's elections and promised wide ranging policy changes "for the people".

His announcement came ahead of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)'s official tally and follows accusations by rival parties of poll rigging.

'Policies for the people'

Khan pledged stronger institutions and said "everyone will be held accountable".


Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran celebrate in Rawalpindi July 25 after voting closed in a general election. Khan declared victory July 26, as the nation awaited official results from the Election Commission of Pakistan. [Farooq Naeem/AFP]

Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran celebrate in Rawalpindi July 25 after voting closed in a general election. Khan declared victory July 26, as the nation awaited official results from the Election Commission of Pakistan. [Farooq Naeem/AFP]


Pakistani election officials count ballots at a polling station in Karachi July 25. [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]

Pakistani election officials count ballots at a polling station in Karachi July 25. [Rizwan Tabassum/AFP]


PTI Chairman Imran Khan declares victory in Pakistan's general elections in a video address from Bani Gala, Islamabad, July 26. [Imran Khan/Facebook]

PTI Chairman Imran Khan declares victory in Pakistan's general elections in a video address from Bani Gala, Islamabad, July 26. [Imran Khan/Facebook]


Supporters of PTI chairman Imran Khan dance in the streets of Peshawar after hearing the initial results of the elections on July 26. [Shahbaz Butt]

Supporters of PTI chairman Imran Khan dance in the streets of Peshawar after hearing the initial results of the elections on July 26. [Shahbaz Butt]

"Today we are behind [other countries] because there is a separate system for those in power and a separate one for ordinary citizens," he said.

Pakistanis donate generously to charity yet are not paying enough taxes, he said.

"We will improve tax culture. [Pakistanis] will pay taxes because they will see that their taxes are being spent on them," he said. "We will help farmers and the business community and help youth to find jobs and develop their skills. Our money will be spent on human development."

"Another challenge is foreign policy. No other country needs peace like we do," he said.

Khan highlighted the need for peace in Afghanistan and said he wanted a "mutually beneficial" relationship with the United States.

"Peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan," he said.

"I pledge to our people that I will introduce a system that is for the masses; all policies will be for the people and not for the elite," he vowed.

Rivals claim vote rigging

Almost immediately after polls closed, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which has been in power since 2013, rejected the results, claiming "outright rigging". It vowed to use "all political and legal options for redressal of these glaring excesses".

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari echoed the PML-N's claim that party representatives were barred from monitoring the count.

The ECP dismissed allegations of manipulation, blaming the delay on glitches in new, untested counting software.

"These elections were 100% fair and transparent," Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza said early Thursday.

Election authorities have not confirmed when they expect to announce the final results.

Election observers, including a mission from the European Union, are due to give their own observations on the voting process Friday (July 28).

A majority of 137 seats is needed to form a government. The National Assembly has a total of 342 seats, of which 272 are directly elected.

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2 Comment(s)
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Iqbal Aamer | 07-27-2018

Suggestion:
Election commission is requested to start preparing for biometric system in next 5 years, because older poling system should be changed now.

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Saad Shibli | 07-27-2018

Due to Shaikh Rashid decision on wrong declaration of assets value many, 5000 corupt person avail opportunity of participation in election. Most of them won the election.

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