Pakistan voters choose Sharif for the third time
Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif declared victory last night in a jubilant speech to supporters as results from yesterday's election showed a clear lead for his party, making it almost certain he will become prime minister for a third time.
The election, in which 86 million people were eligible to vote, will bring the first transition between civilian governments in a country that has been ruled by the military for more than half of its turbulent history.
Despite pre-election violence and attacks that killed at least 17 people, millions turned out to cast a ballot.
"Results are still coming in, but this much is confirmed: we're the single largest party so far," he declared to hoots of joy from the crowd.
With the count continuing into the night, Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was leading in 119 of the 272 national assembly seats that were contested.
It remains to be seen, however, if his PML-N will be forced to seek coalition allies.