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Pakistan elections 2018: PML-N ready to form ‘opposition’ against Imran Khan’s PTI

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Shahbaz Sharif (C), the younger brother of ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), gestures as he speaks during a press conference at his political office in Lahore on July 25, 2018, as voting closed in general elections. One of the main candidates in Pakistan's election, Shahbaz Sharif, rejected the results of the poll as counting was still underway, alleging "blatant" rigging. "It's such a blatant rigging that everyone has started crying. Today what they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years... We reject this result," Sharif, who leads the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), told a press conference in Lahore. / AFP PHOTO / WAKIL KOHSAR

Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday held its executive committee meeting and decided they “would play the role of a strong opposition” in the National Assembly against cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf, which obtained a clear edge over the other parties in the general election.

Party President Shahbaz Sharif, who chaired the meeting, said they would write congratulation letters to the winning candidates and appreciation letters to the losing candidates, Dawn reported. The PML-N president said they would raise a strong voice against the alleged poll rigging, adding that the party would “also provide available evidence of the rigging to the Election Commission of Pakistan”. Earlier on Thursday, Shahbaz Sharif rejected all poll results as he cited complaints of irregularities from across the country.

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Sharif in a presser pointed out that other political parties too had raised similar objections. He said that official results of all constituencies in Lahore had been held up while results of far-flung town and cities in Punjab had been announced. The Election Commission, he claimed, had stopped issuing “Form 45” to PML-N polling agents, adding that they had all been evicted from booths before the counting process was initiated.


Form 45 is known as the statement of the count, according to the poll body. It is supposed to show the number of valid votes for each contesting candidate and ballot papers excluded from the count. Pakistan’s election commission has not yet released official final results, but Khan has maintained a commanding lead, according to projections by many television stations. It was still unclear, however, if his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  (PTI) will win a simple majority or have to form a coalition government. Election officials said an official count confirming Pakistan’s next government was expected in the early hours of Friday. More than a dozen TV channels projected, based on undisclosed methodologies, that PTI would get as many as 119 seats of the 270 national assembly seats contested. A majority of 137 seats is needed to form a government.