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Thursday, July 26

Imran Khan claims victory

Pakistan election 2018: Imran Khan claims victory – as it happened
10:41 AM EDT
Closing summary - Imran Khan promises a new Pakistan
The Guardian

Supporters of Imran Khan ride on vehicles in a convoy in Rawalpindi.
 Supporters of Imran Khan ride on vehicles in a convoy in Rawalpindi. Photograph: Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images

By Memphis Barker

The former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan has claimed victory in his country’s parliamentary elections, promising a new Pakistan following a vote that was marred by allegations of fraud and militant violence.

Khan, who aspires to be the country’s next prime minister, said in a televised address to the nation that “thanks to God, we won and we were successful”.

“If God wills, we will set an example,” he said.

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 is still unclear, however, if his Tehreek-e-Insaf party (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 later in the evening. 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.

Before even half the votes were counted, Khan’s leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the party of the jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, rejected the vote, generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next government.

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