News / Asia

Sharif Named Big Winner in Pakistan Poll

Nawaz Sharif, the leader of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), gestures as he speaks to foreign reporters at his residence in Lahore May 13, 2013.
Nawaz Sharif, the leader of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), gestures as he speaks to foreign reporters at his residence in Lahore May 13, 2013.
VOA News
The party of a former Pakistani prime minister is the apparent winner in Saturday's election with nearly all the votes counted.

Figures released by Pakistan's election commission Tuesday show that Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League - N will likely get a majority in the national assembly, setting him up to be prime minister for the third time.

The commission said Sharif's party won 123 of the 272 directly elected seats.

Sharif's victory means that his party will likely only need the support of independents to secure an overall majority in the legislature.

The outgoing Pakistan People's Party won 31 seats.

Cricket star Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party moved into third place with 26 seats.

Sharif, a conservative politician, says he wants to continue good relations with the United States, but has warned that Washington must take Islamabad's concerns about drone strikes seriously.

The drone strikes are deeply unpopular among Pakistanis. The program targets suspected militants in Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, reportedly with Pakistani government assistance.

Sharif was Pakistan's prime minister from 1990 until 1993, when he was forced to resign because of allegations of corruption. He returned to the job in 1997, but was toppled by a military coup two years later.

Saturday's vote marked the first time Pakistan has transitioned from one civilian government that finished a full term to another civilian administration.

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