Pakistan’s cricketer-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is far ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the national elections held yesterday, though it still has some way to go for absolute majority.
The PTI is leading in 118 of the 272-seats on which elections have been held — the rival party is at 63. With counting taking place in fits and starts through the night, five parties alleged blatant rigging.
Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, called this the “dirtiest election” he has ever seen. The Election Commission attributed the delay to technical troubles.
- Though Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaaf or PTI has established a huge lead, it is still short of the majority mark of 137 and may have to look for allies among the smaller parties and independents. The party’s supporters have already hit the streets to celebrate the single largest party status.
- Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or PML-N is ahead in 63 constituencies, and the Pakistan Peoples Party PPP, led by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of assassinated two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is leading in 38 constituencies.
- Pakistan’s National Assembly has 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected. The remaining 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities. They are selected later through proportional representation.
- A party can only form the government if it manages to get 172 seats in total. A single party will need at least 137 of the directly elected seats to form the government.
- Pakistan went to polls yesterday in a rare democratic transition of power in its coup-studded history. It was the second civilian transfer of power. The army, which ruled the nuclear-armed nation for most of the last 70 years, still sets its security and foreign policy.
- The elections, however, took place under allegations of manipulation by the army and concerns over participation of terrorist and radical groups. There was a total blackout of information as no Indian or foreign journalist were given visa to cover the elections.
- An unprecedented 460 candidates from terrorist and radical groups are in the fray, which has raised concerns in India. The leading among them are candidates from Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led banned outfit Jamat-ud Dawa. Saeed’s son and son-in-law are contesting the elections.
- The frequent stops as the counting progressed through the night has the parties up in arms. “This is a horrible situation which I have never seen in my 30-year political career. These were the dirtiest polls in Pakistan’s history. The results of several constituencies have been withheld where PML-N candidates were winning,” Shahbaz Sharif said, promising action.
- An Election Commission official said the final results had been delayed by technical failures. “There’s no conspiracy, nor any pressure in delay of the results. The delay is being caused because the result transmission system has collapsed,” secretary Babar Yaqoob told reporters.
- More than 30 political parties fielded candidates for the elections to the 272 seats of the National Assembly; 8,396 candidates are running for 577 seats in four provincial assemblies — Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
News credit : Ndtv