Pakistan election: Imran Khan will need to form coalition, official results show

Khan declared that he had been given a mandate to rule despite the contested results

After an exceptionally slow count, Pakistan election officials on Friday announced the cricket star's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won 109 of the 269 seats being contested in the National Assembly.

Pakistan's Election Commission has not yet released the official final results, but Mr. Khan has maintained a commanding lead, according to projections by many television stations.

He made a televised speech today and outlined his ideas about Pakistan.

During a presidential style address on Thursday night, Imran Khan offered to investigate opposition claims of rigging and vowed to improve relations with India and Afghanistan, while calling for "mutually beneficial" ties with the US.

"Unfortunately, so far our relations were one-sided".

His campaign message of a new Pakistan resonated with young voters in a country where 64 percent of its 200 million people are under 30.

The elections were marred by allegations of rigging.

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Pakistan's National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected whereas the rest - 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities - are selected later through proportional representation among parties with more than five per cent of the vote.

Even if Khan's party wins a simple majority, he would need to wait until the president convenes the parliament to swear in the new lawmakers - traditionally within a week. Sharif who heads the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected the results charging widespread fraud and manipulation. "If God wills, we will set an example", he added.

Analysts have expressed concern that disgruntled losers could create instability for the incoming government, which must deal with a crumbling economy, crippling debt and a raging militancy.

In the eastern city of Lahore, capital of Punjab province and the country's political heartland, PTI supporters rejoiced by waving flags and raising party slogans as results trickled in after the voting on Wednesday.

The election marks the second democratic transition of power in the nation's 70-year history.

The ECP was also criticised for deploying the Army both inside and outside of polling stations.

In a tweet, Pakistan's military spokesman Gen. Asif Ghafoor called allegations of interference "malicious propaganda".

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