ISLAMABAD -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared victory following an election marred by violence today.
Unofficial, partial vote counts show Sharif's party with an overwhelming lead.
If his victory is confirmed, it would be a remarkable comeback for the 63-year-old Sharif, who has twice served as the country's premier but was toppled in a military coup in 1999. He spent years in exile before returning to the country in 2007. His party weathered a strong campaign by former cricket star Imran Khan that energized Pakistan's young people.
In a victory speech to supporters in the eastern city of Lahore, Sharif expressed a desire to work with all parties to solve the country's problems. The results indicate Sharif's party has an overwhelming lead, but will likely fall short of winning a majority of the 272 directly elected national assembly seats, meaning he would have to put together a ruling coalition.