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Nawaz Sharif poised to return as Pakistan PM

Partial, unofficial results from Saturday's elections represented a comeback for Sharif, 63, who was deposed as prime minister in a 1999 military coup and spent years in jail and exile. Sartaj Aziz, a senior PML-N official and former cabinet minister, said Sharif was in talks on Sunday with some independent MPs to get them on board and in discussions to work out "a few key portfolios" in the cabinet. TV projections suggested no single party would win an absolute majority in the 342-seat National Assembly. But Sharif's centre-right Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) was well ahead with more than 115 of the chamber's 272 directly elected seats, according to various projections by private channels and as many as 128 according to Geo TV.
PML-N appears to have done well enough to rule out the prospect of a weak coalition, as the party of former cricket star Imran Khan achieved its own breakthrough on an anti-corruption platform that resonated with younger voters.
Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was neck and neck with the outgoing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) on around 30 to 25 seats, a remarkable achievement given that it only won one seat previously, in 2002.
Khan's party also looked set to take over the provincial government in the northwest, where he has pledged to end US drone attacks.
The Bhutto clan's PPP, which led the outgoing coalition, was heavily defeated over its record of ineffectual administration over the past five years.

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