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Pakistan's Imran Khan awaits final election result before building coalition

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Pakistan's Imran Khan awaits final election result before building coalition

Pakistan's Imran Khan awaits final election result before building coalition
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PTI handout/via REUTERS
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Former cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan is awaiting the full results of Pakistan's election before he begins searching for coalition partners.

Khan claimed victory in Pakistan's election amid accusations of vote rigging by rivals on Thursday.

Khan's PTI party is likely to fall short of the 137 seats needed for a majority in the National Assembly, but his better-than-expected results mean he should be able to form a government with a handful of small coalition partners.

Provisional results released on Friday showed his PTI party won 110 seats out of the 251 races where counting had ended. Full election results are expected later on Friday.

But If his party is delayed in forming a government, it could further damage the country's economy which has a looming currency crisis will likely force the government to turn to the IMF for a bailout.

Supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the vote count was rigged and called it an assault on democracy.

Khan has offered to investigate all complaints of election rigging in the disputed poll.

In a television address, he said: "We were successful and we were given a mandate."

He has also said he wants "mutually beneficial" relations with its on-off ally the US and peace in Afghanistan. Khan also offered an olive branch to India in a bid to resolve a long dispute over Kashmir,

Why the vote matters

The election is considered Pakistan's second consecutive democratic transition in 71 years. The country has been ruled on and off by the military up until then.

The vote and campaigning have been marred by violence. On Wednesday, 31 people were killed near a polling station in Quetta, the capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Khan has promised an “Islamic welfare state” and cast his populist campaign as a battle to topple a political elite hindering development in the impoverished, mostly-Muslim nation of 208 million people.