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6 out of 8: Imran Khan wins majority of seats in Pakistan’s byelections


ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan won a majority of seats in Sunday’s votes, building momentum in his campaign to pressure the six-month-old government to call an early national vote.
According to Pakistan Election Commission data, Khan contested seven of the eight seats and won six. The Pakistan People’s Partya member of the ruling coalition, occupying the remaining two seats.
While the former leader will have to resign all but one of the seats he has won – and elections will have to take place again – the victory shows that voters in the country of more than 220 million people support. support his political story. The former cricket star, who was ousted from power through a vote of no confidence in April, has staged protests across Pakistan drawing large crowds seeking early elections.
“I ask the government and grassroots to respect the will of the masses and immediately announce new elections in the country,” said Fawad Chaudhry, a senior leader of the Khan party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said in a tweet. “We are ready to discuss the electoral framework with the government.”
Political drama comes like Shehbaz SharifThe government is grappling with economic difficulties. Moody’s downgraded the country’s credit rating and Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to a three-year low. Devastating floods earlier this year have also added to the crisis.
The vote is taking place after all 131 lawmakers from Khan’s party resigned in the lower house in April following a change in government. Elections for those seats are being held in phases. While a sweeping victory would cheer Khan and his supporters, his current series of legal troubles could hamper his political ambitions.
The Election Commission said Khan’s party had illegally received foreign funds from the US, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The PTI has denied the allegation and is appealing the order.
Any decision on what penalties the party faces if it loses the case rests with the Supreme Court. It could face a campaign ban.
Pakistan’s top investigative body has also filed a lawsuit against Khan for illegally receiving money in his party account from the founder of Dubai-based Abraaj Group, Arif Naqvi, Dawn newspaper reported. Khan had to be released on bail first on two occasions.
Under Pakistani law, a criminal sentence can ban Khan from running for office for five years.

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