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Imran Khan supporters block Pakistan's highways in protest

Imran Khan supporters block Pakistan's highways in protest

 


Candidates backed by Khan, a national cricket hero and chancellor of the University of Bradford from 2005 to 2014, won more seats than the political parties that ousted him from power almost two years ago, according to the tally final published Sunday.

However, no party received a majority, so the parties will have to discuss forming a coalition government. The new parliament chooses the country's next prime minister.

The PTI and other parties refused to accept defeat in some constituencies, saying the vote was rigged (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Thursday's vote to choose a new parliament was overshadowed by allegations of electoral fraud, an unprecedented cellphone blackout and the exclusion of Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party from the vote.

While the election winners celebrated their victory, the PTI and other parties refused to accept their defeat in dozens of constituencies.

Dozens of Khans supporters were briefly detained over the weekend in the eastern city of Lahore while protesting against allegations of electoral fraud.

Jan Achakzai, a government spokesperson in southwest Balochistan province, urged protesters to show grace by accepting defeat and moving away from the highways.

Khan was unable to run in the election due to the criminal convictions against him, which he says are politically motivated.

A supporter of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs' party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, watches fireworks as the party celebrates its candidate's victory in Peshawar (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

Candidates aligned with Khan won 101 of the 266 seats in the National Assembly, or lower house of Parliament.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party, led by three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, got 75.

Mr Sharif is currently in talks with his allies to form a coalition government.

The Pakistan People's Party, or PPP, led by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, came third with 54 seats.

One result was disallowed and another vote was postponed due to the death of a candidate.

The campaign to oust Khan from power in 2022 was led by the PML-N and the PPP.

Pakistan's military has always presented itself as the final arbiter in determining who becomes prime minister, and Mr. Sharif has been tipped as the preferred candidate of the powerful security establishments due to his smooth return to the country last October .

Mr Sharif spent four years in exile to avoid serving prison terms, but his convictions were overturned within weeks of his arrival in Pakistan.

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