Nawaz Sharif declares election victory

SFormer Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, center, casts his vote at a polling station during the country's parliamentary election in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, May 11, 2013. Defying the danger of militant attacks, Pakistanis streamed to the polls Saturday for a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent. But attacks that killed and wounded dozens of people underlined the risks many people took just casting their ballots. AP Photo

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared victory following a historic election marred by violence Saturday, a remarkable comeback for a leader once toppled in a military coup and sent into exile.

The 63-year-old Sharif, who has twice served as premier, touted his success after unofficial, partial vote counts showed his Pakistan Muslim League-N party with an overwhelming lead. The party weathered a strong campaign by former cricket star Imran Khan that energized Pakistan's young people.

Sharif expressed a desire to work with all parties to solve the country's problems in a victory speech given to his supporters in the eastern city of Lahore as his lead in the national election became apparent based on vote counts announced by Pakistan state TV.

The results, which need to be officially confirmed, indicated Sharif's party has an overwhelming lead but would fall short of winning a majority of the 272 directly elected national assembly seats. That means he would have to put together a ruling coalition, which could make it more difficult to tackle the country's many problems.

"I appeal to all to come sit with me at the table so that this nation can get rid of this curse of power cuts, inflation and unemployment,'' Sharif said.

Despite attacks against candidates, party workers and voters that killed 29 people Saturday, Pakistanis turned out in large numbers to elect the national and provincial assemblies. The high participation was a sign of Pakistanis' desire for change after years of hardship under the outgoing government, and it offered a sharp rebuke to Taliban militants and others who have tried to derail the election with attacks that have killed more than 150 people in recent weeks.

"Our country is in big trouble,'' said Mohammad Ali, a shopkeeper who voted in Lahore. ``Our people are jobless. Our business is badly affected. We are dying every day.''

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus