President Obama has spoken on the phone with Nawaz Sharif after his victory in Pakistan's parliamentary elections, the White House has revealed.
US President Barack Obama has congratulated Pakistan for the successful completion of its parliamentary elections and said the United States would work with the country's new government as an equal partner.
"The United States stands with all Pakistanis in welcoming this historic peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power, which is a significant milestone in Pakistan's democratic progress," Obama said in a statement released by the White House.
Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif made a triumphant comeback in the country's election and looks on course to form a stable government capable of implementing reforms needed to rescue the fragile economy.
The Leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif looks set to be Prime Minister of Pakistan for a third time. Local media reports that as of Sunday evening his party had captured 94 of the 272 contested National Assembly seats in the Pakistani parliament.
If current election trends continue then the PML-N will secure 130 seats. They need 137 to secure a majority in Pakistan's parliament, and Mr Sharif has told supporters that he is confident his party can form a coalition with minority groups.
The former cricketer Imran Khan looks set to be the main voice of the opposition in Pakistan after his party Tehrik-i-Insaf came second in the polls. The previous government led by the Pakistan People's Party is doing badly and according to Reuters looks set to come third.
After 14 years out of power, Nawaz Sharif is poised to become prime minister again, and he is a man in a hurry to clean up what he calls Pakistan's mess.
Sharif said on Saturday his Pakistan Muslim League Party-Nawaz (PMLN) was the clear winner in general elections and that he hoped for a majority to avoid a coalition.
He inherits a country with a dizzying array of troubles, from chronic power cuts to a Taliban insurgency."
The challenges are huge," the portly Sharif told Reuters in his bullet-proof car during the last days of campaigning. "We have to bail out the economy."
Sharif, who vows to bring in free market enterprise and ease economic controls, says speedy growth is the only answer for nuclear-armed Pakistan, a strategic US ally.
Nawaz Sharif, 63, declared victory in a jubilant speech to supporters as results from Saturday's election showed a overwhelming lead for his party.
– Nawaz Sharif
Please pray that by morning we're in a position that we don't need the crutch of coalition partners.
"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 in Punjab's capital, Lahore.
Pakistan's ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif says his party is the clear winner in election, but adds that he hopes for majority to avoid a coalition.