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May 12, 2013 at 09:52am IST

Pakistan elections: Nawaz Sharif stages a comeback; but still short of majority

Islamabad: PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif is set for a third term as Pakistan's Prime Minister as his party took a massive lead over its rivals in the general election, according to provisional results from across the country. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League declared victory on Saturday night amidst violence and re-polling followed by reports of rigging votes in the landmark elections that were held in Pakistan. Trends show that PML-N won 130 seats out of 272 while Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaaf (PTI) conceded defeat after bagging around 35 seats.

Street celebrations started late at night after Sharif addressed his supporters and asked to pray for an absolute majority. Sharif registered victory from Sargodha constituency in Punjab Province.

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Leader of PTI, Imran Khan also won from Mianwali constituency. Pakistan's Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin Ibrahim said that there was nearly 60 per cent voter turnout this time which is a significant increase from 44.5 per cent in 2008.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf from the PPP is trailing in his constituency of Rawalpindi.

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The PML-N's strong performance will make it possible for Sharif to form the government at the centre with the backing of independent candidates and smaller right wing parties like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, analysts said.

Sources said that the PML-N would also not be averse to working with the PPP after forming the government as the party's leaders were not keen on an alliance with Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf. To win a simple majority, a party or coalition would have to bag 137 of the 272 National Assembly seats for which polls were held.

Another 70 seats, reserved for women and non-Muslims, will be allocated to parties according to their performance in polls. To have a majority 342-member National Assembly, a party or coalition would need 172 seats.

With Additional Inputs from PTI