Pakistan Election 2018: Imran Khan declares victory as rivals decry 'rigging'

Imran Khan declared victory in Pakistan’s rancorous general election on Thursday as rivals alleged he had benefited from widespread vote rigging. The cricketer-turned-opposition politician appeared set to be prime minister after unofficial forecasts gave him a commanding lead. The 65-year-old given the nicknamed ‘Captain’ by supporters looked just short of a full majority, but was expected to find small coalition partners easily and declared he had been given a popular mandate. In a speech broadcast from his Bani Gala estate outside Islamabad, he restated his populist promises, vowing a new Pakistan where he would crackdown on corruption and build an Islamic welfare state. However there were fears last night of political paralysis, or even violence after his unexpectedly strong performance at the polls was rejected by rival parties. Khan declared victory in a televised speech on Thursday afternoon Credit: REUTERS The Pakistan Muslim League party of jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif said the result was based on “massive rigging” that “will cause irreparable damage to the country”. Mr Khan said he was prepared to cooperate in any investigation into vote fraud, but claimed the poll had been “the cleanest elections in Pakistan’s history”. Reaching out to his country’s arch rival, he said he wanted talks with India to resolve their simmering dispute over Kashmir. He said the Indian media had made him feel like a Bollywood villain but “if India takes one step towards us, we will take two steps towards them”. Imran Khan has had to be very flexible indeed on his long climb to power in Pakistan He went on: “Right now, it is one-sided where India is constantly just blaming us.” “The leadership of Pakistan and India now need to come to the table to resolve this and end blame games. We are stuck at square one.” …read more

Source:: Yahoo News

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