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In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has the advantage

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In Pakistan, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has the advantage

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In Pakistan, the Movement for Justice (PTI), the party of former prime minister Imran Khan, declared that it had won the parliamentary elections which took place on Thursday: the counting is actually still underway, but according to latest results the candidates supported by the PTI are ahead of those of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), the party of the other former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who had also declared victory a few hours earlier.

Thursday’s elections serve to elect the 265 deputies of the lower house of parliament, who will then elect the new prime minister. In many constituencies the PTI candidates presented themselves as independent, with symbols different from the official one of the party, made illegal last month by a ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court in what several international observers said was a government effort to stymie former Prime Minister Khan’s party.

According to him latest resultsreported by Al Jazeera, the candidates supported by the PTI would have obtained 99 seats and the PML-N 70: in both cases the seats obtained are far fewer than the 133 needed to obtain a majority. 52 seats were won by the Pakistan People’s Party and 25 by other smaller parties. There are 19 seats still to be assigned.

The PTI’s victory was declared through a message published on Khan’s X (Twitter) profile, generated with artificial intelligence and in which the former prime minister claimed a “landslide victory”: Khan is currently in prison for several crimes , including corruption, and for this reason he was unable to run.

Since Khan has been in prison, the Pakistani army and government have struck hard at his populist and nationalist party, arresting thousands of collaborators, supporters and candidates, many of whom ran in the elections as independents. Khan and his supporters argue that the convictions against him are politically motivated and an attempt by the military regime that rules Pakistan to prevent him from participating in the country’s political life.

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– Read also: Elections in Pakistan, with the army

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