Vote counting was under way in key Pakistan parliamentary and provincial elections marred by violence and allegations of rigging by opponents, with the first official results starting to trickle in more than 12 hours after voting ended.
Cricket icon-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice, has maintained a commanding lead with nearly half the votes counted from Wednesday’s election.
Millions of Pakistanis flocked to polling stations to exercise their ballot amid violence, including a suicide attack in western city of Quetta that claimedat least 31 people lives.
As many as 800,000 police and military forces were deployed across 85,000 polling stations in elections that will see the second civilian-to-civilian handover of power in the country’s history.
Here are the latest updates:
Official results trickle in
- The first set of official results by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have started to trickle in, based on a 100 percent vote count.
- Follow all the results on our live interactive map.
- With 48 percent of the total vote counted, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was listed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as leading in 113 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies, Reuters news agency reported.
- Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was ahead in 64 constituencies, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), headed by the son of assassinated two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, led in 42 constituencies.
- “According to the latest information we have, PTI has swept the polls in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,” said Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from the capital, Islamabad.
- They’re [PTI] also in a very strong position in the Punjab provincial assembly and have so far, received the largest number of votes in the National Assembly, which is the lower house of parliament,” he added.
- A top Pakistani election official said there is “no conspiracy” in the delay in announcing official results for the election, but instead technical issues are to blame.
- “There’s no conspiracy, nor any pressure in delay of the results,” Babar Yaqoob, secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan, told reporters on Thursday. “The delay is being caused because the result transmission system has collapsed.”
Technical issue delaying results
- The delay in announcing the official results is due to a technical issue with the Results Transmission System (RTS), according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
- “We were supposed to get 85,000 forms through the RTS but only 25,000 managed to come through,” Babar Yaqoob, the ECP secretary, told reporters before adding that forms bearing results from the polling stations would be transported by road to the Returning Officers. “We havent’t received a single result yet.”