Imran Khan’s PTI party won 109 of 269 seats in the National Assembly while his nearest rival, Shahbaz Sharif's PML, won 63 seats.
Imran Khan Wins Pakistan Election But Will Need Coalition
Pakistan's Election Commission has officially declared former cricket star Imran Khan's party the winner of Pakistan's historic third consecutive election of a civilian government, but he did not win an outright majority and must form a coalition government.
After two days of vote counting, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won 109 of 269 seats being contested in the National Assembly while his nearest rival, Shahbaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League, won 63 seats.
Sharif, who heads the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif — his brother — earlier rejected the results alleging widespread fraud and manipulation.
In Pakistan, where a British-modelled parliamentary system is in place, voters elected lawmakers to both its National Assembly and its four provincial Parliaments.
Fawad Chaudhry, spokesman for Khan's party, said efforts were already underway to form a coalition, looking to both independents and allies, but the process is likely to take several days.
Still, on Thursday, the 65-year-old Mr Khan made his first speech to the nation declaring his party victorious based on projections.
"Today in front of you, in front of the people of Pakistan, I pledge I will run Pakistan in such a way as it has never before been run," Khan said, vowing to wipe out corruption, strengthen institutions he called dysfunctional and regain national pride by developing international relationships based on respect and equality.
But there is a long way to go before Pakistan's national and provincial governments are in place and Khan can set out on his agenda.
His opponents and rights groups charge widespread fraud and massive manipulation gave Khan's party its victory.
They allege involvement of Pakistan's powerful military and its intelligence agency ISI.
Khan has dismissed the allegations, saying polling was the most transparent in the country's 71-year history, which has been dominated by military interference either directly or indirectly.
Third place in the National Assembly contest went to the left-of-center Pakistan People's party with 39 seats.
A mix of smaller parties and independent candidates whom Khan will have to woo to form a coalition won the remainder of seats in Pakistan's National Assembly.
Results from 20 seats are still being counted but they will not change the outcome.
Pakistan's National Assembly has 342 seats but only 272 are directly elected by voters.
In Wednesday's election three seats were uncontested because one candidate died, another was disqualified and a third was declared.
The remainder of the parliament goes to seats reserved for women and minorities.
There will likely be days of negotiation before the makeup of Pakistan's National Assembly and four provincial parliaments are clear and the maneuvering will be watched closely by Pakistan's neighbors as well as regional powers such as China, Russia and the US.