Pakistan heads towards hung assembly with Imran Khan’s PTI in the lead
With counting of votes still underway in Pakistan, PTI supporters across the country started early celebrations in anticipation of their party’s victory while PML-N cast doubts over the process
With counting of votes still underway in the 11th general assembly of Pakistan, PTI supporters across the country started early celebrations in anticipation of their party's victory while PML-N cast doubts over the counting process.
The country seemed to head for a hung National Assembly early on Thursday, as the leads from counting centres showed no party getting a clear-cut majority.
The leads, however, put Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) ahead of the rest, including Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Based on reporting of 47 per cent of polling stations, PTI is leading on 114 National Assembly seats, while the PML-N trails behind with 64 and the PPP-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) is at third spot with 42 seats, reported the Dawn.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, from its official Twitter handle, tweeted that the party is “heading right towards Naya Pakistan”.
According to PTV news, Imran Khan has maintained a massive lead over PML-N's Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad constituency. The PTI chief was pitted against former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the crucial National Assembly seat.
In Punjab, with preliminary results from 50pc polling stations available with ECP, PML-N is currently holding its lead on 129 provincial seats but PTI is closing in with a lead on 122 seats.
Meanwhile, PTI is clearly steering ahead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a lead on 64 seats against Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal (MMA), which is currently leading on 12 seats, as per reporting from 35pc polling stations in the province.
The voter turnout was recorded at 50-55 per cent of the nearly 106 million electorates, similar to the previous electoral contest in 2013.
Television visuals showed election workers sorting through massive piles of paper ballots at polling stations across the country.
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif at a mid-vote count press conference said his party rejects the poll results. In a tweet, he said the party had rejected the results “due to manifest and massive irregularities”
Counting is still going on at the polling stations of different constituencies.
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif at a mid-vote count press conference said his party rejects the poll results. In a tweet, he said the party had rejected the results "due to manifest and massive irregularities".
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also tweeted saying he had not received any official results from any constituency where he was contesting, despite it being past midnight. "My candidates (have been) complaining (that) polling agents have been thrown out of polling stations across the country. Inexcusable and outrageous."
A delay has been reported in the transmission of election results due to the breaking down of the ECP's Results Transmission System (RTS), which is being run through a software powered by National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
At a 4am press conference, the Election Commission of Pakistan Muhammad Raza Khan said that "technical difficulties" were behind the unprecedented delay. The ECP spokesperson told Dawn that the system has been overwhelmed due to a large number of polling officers using at the same time to log Form 45.
A single party will need to bag at least 137 of the directly elected seats to be able to form the government on its own.
In all likelihood, the contest seemed to head for a two-party battle between Khan's PTI and the incumbent PML-N of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose brother Shehbaz is leading its campaign.
As many as 12,570 candidates were in the electoral fray for a total of 849 seats of national and provincial assemblies in the country's 11th general election.
With IANS inputs