Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf called Wednesday for a "harmonious coalition" after opposition parties defeated his allies in elections, a foreign ministry statement said, dismissing calls for his resignation.
"The president emphasized the need for harmonious coalition in the interest of peaceful governance, development and progress of Pakistan," the statement said after Musharraf met a visiting U.S. congressman.
"The elections have strengthened the moderate forces in the country," it quoted Musharraf as saying in his first official comments following Monday's crucial parliamentary vote.
Meanwhile, opposition parties mulled the formation of a coalition government after storming to victory in elections.
Nawaz Sharif, the man Musharraf removed from power in a coup in 1999, and the widower of assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto both said they wanted to work with other opposition groups after Monday's vote.
Sharif urged key U.S. ally Musharraf to quit, while Asif Ali Zardari said he would not work with anyone associated with the party that backed Musharraf in the last parliament, which observers said suffered a stinging defeat.
Despite the intensifying pressure on Musharraf, he told an American newspaper that he has no plans to quit.
Asked earlier by the Wall Street Journal whether he would resign or retire, Musharraf said: "No, not yet. We have to move forward in a way that we bring about a stable democratic government to Pakistan," according to the interview published on the newspaper's website.
Sharif and Zardari were set to meet in Islamabad on Thursday. Both were also due to hold meetings of their central executive committees on Wednesday, with contacts between the sides expected.
Election commission secretary Kanwar Dilshad said the official results of the vote were set to be announced on Wednesday after the final handful of constituencies were tallied.
With votes counted in 258 out of 272 constituencies, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Sharif's party had a combined total of 153 seats, the commission said. The former ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q and its allies together had 58.
Results also showed a near total defeat for hard-line Islamic parties that under the previous administration ruled Pakistan's North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.
A European Union team which monitored the vote was set to deliver its report on Wednesday, although the opposition allegations of rigging that marked the run-up to the polls have been absent since.
The White House said the elections were "largely fair."
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said he was encouraged by the "commitment of all parties concerned to respect the democratic process," his press office said.
A hostile parliament threatens the political survival of Musharraf, who could theoretically face impeachment if the opposition gets a two-thirds majority.