Cricket Legend Imran Khan Declares Pakistan Election Victory

Imran Khan—one of Pakistan’s greatest ever cricket players—has declared victory in the country’s election, but a win for his party could be overshadowed by opposition claims of fraud. With around half of nationwide votes counted, the cricketer-turned-politician’s spokesperson, Fawad Chaudhry, tweeted: “Congratulations to the nation on a new Pakistan! Prime Minister Imran Khan.” Khan’s leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, who leads the Pakistan Muslim League, rejected the vote, sparking fears that election losers could delay the formation of a new government. In a tweet on his official page, Sharif said “our democratic process has been pushed back by decades,” adding that “had the public mandate been delivered in a fair manner, we would have accepted it happily.” The Human Rights Commission has also issued a statement saying that in some places women were not allowed to vote, and said in some areas polling staff “appeared to be biased toward a certain party.” Khan is likely to fall short of the 137 seats needed for a majority in the National Assembly, but should be able to find coalition partners from smaller parties and independents.