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Pakistan's Imran Khan wins vote without majority

China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-28 08:41

Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), gives a speech as he declares victory in the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, in this still image from a July 26, 2018 handout video by PTI. [Photo/Agencies]

ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday declared former cricket star Imran Khan's party the winner of Pakistan's historic third consecutive election of a civilian government, but he did not win an outright majority and must form a coalition.

China hopes for a smooth political transition in Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday.

"Imran Khan has reiterated that relations with China are the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy that 'no matter which party takes office, the friendly policy toward China will not be changed'," Geng said.

Khan had already declared victory in the pivotal vote.

The Election Commission said on Friday that with only 11 seats left to count, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement of Justice), or PTI, enjoys a strong lead with 114 seats, and will be the largest party in parliament.

At a news conference, the commission said that the Muslim League-Nawaz, or PML-N, had 63 seats and the Pakistan People's Party, or PPP, which could prove kingmaker in a coalition government, had won 43.

The count indicates PTI would not achieve the 137 seats needed in the National Assembly to form a majority government in its own right.

Later on Friday, the PML-N conceded its loss to the PTI.

Fawad Chaudhry, the spokesman for Khan's party, said efforts were already underway to form a coalition, looking to both independents and allies, but the process is likely to take several days.

The ECP had blamed a delay in the results, an unofficial version of which had been expected late on Wednesday, on technical glitches.

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