Nawaz Sharif declares victory in Pakistan national elections

Nawaz Sharif speaks, flanked by his daughter and politician Maryam Nawaz Sharif and his brother and former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, at the party office of Pakistan Muslim League (N) at Model Town in Lahore, Pakistan, 9 February, 2024.Reuters

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday claimed victory in national elections, saying that his political party has emerged as the largest in the vote and will discuss forming a coalition government.

Sharif did not disclose how many seats his party had won and counting was still underway in the last few of the 265 seats that went to the polls.

The latest count published by the election panel showed his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) winning 61 seats, much below the 133 mark needed to stake claim to form a government.

Sharif said his party alone does not have the seats needed but his deputies will meet leaders of other parties laterin the day, including former presidentAsif Ali Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party, to discuss forming a coalition government.