Cricket player-turned politician Imran Khan has declared victory in Pakistani elections over the party of former PM Nawaz Sharif, jailed for corruption. The voting day was marred by violence and allegations of polls rigging.
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Khan has addressed the nation from his home in Islamabad, vowing to investigate all the complaints of rigged polls put forward by his opponents – the Pakistan Muslim League, a center-right conservative party, sympathetic to the US. Supporters of its de facto leader Sharif who’s spoiled blood with the country’s military claimed the army shifted the scales in Khan’s favor.
Having run on anti-corruption ticket, Khan pledged to “fix” the governance system of Pakistan, vowing to make the country what its founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, actually dreamed of. The leader of the Pakistan Movement for Justice also stated that he will be “embarrassed” to live in the lavish PM palace when over half of Pakistanis live beyond the poverty line. Khan promised to turn the palace into educational or public institution instead.
“I started this struggle 22 years ago and thankfully today I have been given a chance to fulfill what I dreamt for the country,” Khan stated. “We will run Pakistan like it’s never been run before.”
The elections were marred by a gruesome suicide bombing. Some 371,000 soldiers have been deployed at polling stations across the country, nearly fivefold as many as during last general election in 2013.