Khan's PTI-backed independent candidates accuse election commission of tampering with results of Feb. 8 polls
The party of jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday claimed it won 177 seats of the lower house of parliament in the Feb. 8 general elections, accusing the election commission of tampering with the results.

Over 100 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates gathered in Islamabad and accused officers of the election body of "snatching" public mandate by turning their win into a defeat. They were led by lawyer Salman Akram Raja, who also contested the elections but lost.

"I won the National Assembly seat of NA-128 from Lahore with a lead of over 100,000 votes, but the returning officer notified my rival as winner," Raja told reporters.

PTI spokesman Raoof Hasan said 85 seats "have been taken away from us fraudulently," adding that the party was taking constitutional and legal steps in this regard.

Pakistan's elections on Feb. 8 returned a hung parliament, with no party getting enough seats in the National Assembly to form a government by itself.

Independent candidates, mostly backed by the PTI, won the most seats, 101, while Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged 75 and former Foreign Minister Bhutto-Zardari-led Pakistan People's Party (PPP) got 54. Parties have started coalition talks to reach the magic majority number of 169 out of 266 seats.

The election authorities and the interim government have rejected any systematic rigging in the polls, claiming them to be free and fair. But several parties have cried foul, and are holding nationwide protests.

Imran Khan files appeal in courts against sentences

Meanwhile, Khan's lawyer filed appeals against his sentences in illegal marriage, leaking state secrets and selling state gifts cases.

The appeal was filed by Khan's lawyer Latif Khosa, who was elected as a member of the lower house in the recent elections from the city of Lahore.

On Feb. 3, a Pakistani court sentenced Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, to seven years each in prison over charges of unlawful marriage.

Earlier, the former cricket star and Bibi were each handed 14-year jail terms in a case related to the illegal sale of state gifts. Earlier, a 10-year sentence each was given to Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for leaking state secrets, also known as the "cipher case."