Islamabad: Nawaz Sharif's PML-N has emerged the single largest party in Pakistan's landmark general elections by bagging 122 of the 272 parliamentary seats that went to the polls on May 11, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday. The PML-N's two closest rivals the Pakistan People's Party and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf lagged far behind with 31 and 26 seats, respectively.
Earlier, trends emerging from the counting of votes had shown that the PML-N led by former premier Sharif was set to bag about 125 seats. A total of 137 directly elected seats is needed for a simple majority and the PML-N is expected to form government at the centre with the backing of independent candidates and one or two smaller parties.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which had been a key partner in the last PPP-led government, bagged 16 seats while Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam won 10 seats in the National Assembly.
The Jamaat-e-Islami and PML-F won three seats each while the PML-Q, formed by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National People's Party bagged two seats each. The Awami National Party, Qaumi Watan Party-Sherpao, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan, Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League, Awami Muslim League, Balochistan National Party, National Party and PML-Z won one seat each. Independent candidates bagged 25 seats.
The Election Commission announced the results for only 250 parliamentary seats, saying results were awaited from 18 constituencies in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh provinces and the tribal areas. The poll panel further said there would be repolling in some polling stations of one constituency while polls had not been held in three constituencies for various reasons, including the death of candidates.
To win a simple majority, a party or coalition needs 137 of the 272 directly elected seats in the National Assembly for which polls were held on May 11. Another 70 seats, reserved for women and non-Muslims, will be allocated to parties according to their performance in the polls.
To have a majority in the 342-member National Assembly, a party or coalition will need 172 seats. The Senate or upper house of the parliament is currently controlled by the PPP.