Imran's victory incredible lesson in tenacity: ex wife Jemima

Glen Norman
July 26, 2018

But before even half the votes were counted, Khan's leading rival Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League - the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif - rejected the vote, generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next government.

Mr Khan would need to win 141 of 272 seats to form his own government. In 2004, the couple announced they had divorced amicably, ending the nine-year marriage because it was "difficult for Jemima to adapt to the political life of Imran Khan in Pakistan". "Pakistanis will be proud of this government".

Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan has declared victory for his party in Pakistan's historic elections, promises a "new" Pakistan.

The Americans will be particularly concerned about the outcome of the election, given that Khan famously said he would order the Pakistani military to shoot down American drones if he came to power, and advocated negotiations with Pakistani Taliban fighters rather than military operations against them.

There are 85,307 polling stations across Pakistan and more than 11,000 candidates are vying for 270 seats in parliament and 570 seats in four provincial assemblies.

A suicide bomber has killed at least 31 people and wounded many more at a polling station in the Pakistani city of Quetta, rounding off a campaign season stained by indiscriminate violence. Yet there have been widespread concerns during the election campaign about manipulation by the military, which has directly or indirectly ruled Pakistan for most of its existence.

Ex-cricketer Khan is perceived as army favourite for becoming the next prime minister.

. No one will be above the law - this is our aim. Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power past year and jailed over a corruption conviction days before the vote, removing Khan's most unsafe rival.

Sharif claimed that he was being targeted by the military for asserting civilian supremacy. During the campaign, reports emerged that such pressure had prompted dozens of Muslim League candidates or rising figures to leave the party.

Neither Khan nor the military, which had been accused of seeking to manipulate the vote in his favour in the months leading up to the polls, have yet commented on the situation.

In the message, relayed via Twitter, Sharif urged voters to give "one final push to break the wall" of hidden official opposition to democracy. "This [election] has put the country back 30 years", he said.

Other political and religious parties, including center-left Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the five-party religious alliance Muttehida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Awami National Party (ANP), have also rejected the results. "The rest is up to Allah".

Rights activist Tahira Abdullah said Tuesday that local jirgas, or councils of elders, from 60 areas representing 16 different constituencies had signed agreements banning women from voting despite the new ruling. "Don't miss this opportunity".

Sharif was arrested on July 13 after returning to Pakistan. Khan has long criticized the USA for drone strikes in Pakistan, taken a hard line against India and expressed support for China's $60 billion infrastructure program.

In Lahore, the capital of what is traditionally Sharif's Punjab power base, Khan's supporters danced in the streets, waving flags bearing his image, honking horns and firing celebratory gunshots. "He is a clean and honest person, and we believe he will steer the country out of all problems".

Khan owes a lot of his popularity to the fact that he once captained Pakistan's cricket team, which won the World Cup in 1992.

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