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Nawaz's PML-N emerges single largest party

Nawaz
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PML-N bagged 122 seats, while Pakistan People's Party and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf � lag far behind with 31 and 26 seats, respectively. Of...

PML-N bagged 122 seats, while Pakistan People's Party and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf � lag far behind with 31 and 26 seats, respectively. Of 272 seats, results were declared for 250 only. Islamabad (PTI): Nawaz Sharif's PML-N has emerged as the single largest party in Pakistan's landmark general elections with 122 of the 272 Parliamentary seats, but fell short of a majority and would form a government with support of independents and smaller parties. The PML-N's two closest rivals � the Pakistan People's Party and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf � lagged far behind with 31 and 26 seats, respectively. The Election Commission announced the results for only 250 parliamentary seats, saying results were awaited from 18 constituencies in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh provinces and the tribal areas. Earlier, trends emerging from the counting of votes had shown that the PML-N led by former premier Sharif was set to bag about 125 seats. A total of 137 directly elected seats is needed for a majority and the PML-N is expected to form government at the Centre with the backing of independent candidates and one or two smaller parties. Another 70 seats, reserved for women and non-Muslims, will be allocated to parties according to their performance in the polls. To have a majority in the 342-member National Assembly, a party or coalition will need 172 seats. The Senate or upper house of the parliament is currently controlled by the PPP. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which had been a key partner in the last PPP-led government, bagged 16 seats, while Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam won 10 seats in the National Assembly. The Jamaat-e-Islami and PML-F won three seats each, while the PML-Q, formed by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National People's Party bagged two seats each. The Awami National Party, Qaumi Watan Party-Sherpao, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan, Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League, Awami Muslim League, Balochistan National Party, National Party and PML-Z won one seat each. Independent candidates bagged 25 seats.
Two in race to be foreign minister
Senior PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Khwaja Asif are in the race for the post of Foreign Minister following the party's resounding victory in Pakistan's general elections. Sources said Iqbal, a 54-year-old graduate of the Wharton School of Business, and Asif, a 63-year-old former banker, were considered frontrunners for heading the crucial Foreign Ministry. Both the parliamentarians from Punjab are considered to be very close to PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who is set for an unprecedented third term as Pakistan's Prime Minister. Sharif has already signalled his intentions to improve relations with India, including greater economic ties. Iqbal and Asif served as ministers in the cabinet of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani when the Pakistan People's Party and the PML-N formed a short-lived coalition after the last general elections in 2008.
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