Imran Khan begins coalition talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s likely new prime minister Imran Khan opened coalition talks with at least one smaller party and independent politicians on Saturday, a spokesman said, after the announcement of full results of an election disputed by rivals.
Khan’s party did better than expected to scoop up 16.86 million votes, trouncing the party of jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif, which finished second with 12.89 million and said on Saturday that a party member had been killed.
But the 116 seats won by Khan’s lawmakers were not enough to give him a majority in the 272-seat National Assembly without coalition partners, and he has ruled out both of the other two major parties, calling them corrupt.
Officials from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice, said they were in talks with independents and at least one other political party to form a coalition government.
“We are pretty much there in the National Assembly… talks are going on with MQM as well,” said Faisal Javed Khan, a senior PTI spokesman.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has dominated politics in the port megacity of Karachi for decades, and won six seats in the general election after splitting with its longtime leader, Altaf Hussain.
The PTI spokesman said Khan was expected to take the oath as prime minister around August 14, Pakistan’s independence day.