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Khan Deals Blow To Ruling Coalition In Pakistan's By-Elections


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (file photo)

The Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has won all six seats that were contested in national assembly by-elections over the weekend, stunning Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif's ruling coalition.

In what was seen by many as a referendum on his popularity after he was ousted in April in a no-confidence vote, Khan won three seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two in Punjab and one in Sindh Province, beating ruling coalition candidates in each.

PTI also won two of three Punjab Assembly seats in the by-leections, further strengthening its position in the country's biggest province -- where it rules in coalition with Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q).

Candidates can stand for multiple seats in Pakistan elections. If they win more than one they choose which to keep, and a separate vote must later be held for those forfeited.

Since his ouster, Khan has held dozens of rallies to push his demands that Sharif call a nationwide general election instead of waiting for the next scheduled vote in October 2023.

The weekend balloting also came as tens of millions of Pakistanis battle to regain their lives following recent devastating floods that forced some 8 million people from their homes and caused damage estimated at more than $28 billion.

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