Pakistan's Samaa TV reported that there are problems with the Result Transmission System of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
Pakistan Election Results 2018 latest updates: Senator Mushahid Hussain of the PML-N said that this was not an election but a selection. "It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that five political parties representatives have raised objections over the election process especially counting," he claimed as his party raised severe allegations against the election commission and the polling authorities.
Pakistan's Samaa TV reported that there are problems with the Result Transmission System of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The report said that there were complaints that the system is being choked, there are connectivity issues, and the workers are having to reboot the system again and again. There have been complaints about the poll workers being poorly trained to deal with the Result Transmission System.
PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif addressed a press conference soon after trends started turning into a clear unassailable lead for Imran Khan's PTI. He rejected the results and claimed that the poll panel failed to conduct a free and fair poll. He also said that the party will announce its future course of action after consulting with other parties as well.
The Election Commission of Pakistan Secretary, while addressing the delay, said the results will be shared as soon as they are in. "We want to give you accurate results and we will have them as soon as they are in," Babar Yaqoob told reporters. Polls have closed in key Pakistan parliamentary and provincial elections that were marred by violence, with first results expected to start coming in by 7pm local time.
According to Samaa TV, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is leading in 103 seats, Nawaz Sharif's PML-N leads in 46 seats. Reports have also claimed that Imran might be preparing his victory speech way before the official results are announced. Meanwhile, three main political parties — PML-N, PPP and MQM alleged polling irregularities.
The unofficial results on the local Pakistan TV channels show an early lead across the country for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by crickter-turned-politician Imran Khan. Imran, the key campaigner in the Wednesday’s poll, is leading across the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces defeating ousted PM Nawaz Sharif's PML-N in his stronghold Punjab province and expected to win in the polls. Punjab, the most important battleground, has maximum constituencies total 141 elected National Assembly seats and makes more than half of the total 272 elected seats in the National Assembly.
Imran Khan's PTI has taken a lead in NA-54 Islamabad-III and NA-117, Nankana Sahib-I seats in Punjab province, which is considered a bastion of the PML-N.
PTI is leading on 90 National Assembly (NA) seats followed by PML-N which is ahead on 60 seats. In Punjab both parties are seeing a close contest while in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), PTI is all set to regain the territory it ruled during the last five years.
According to latest reports in Pakistan media, PTI chief Imran Khan is leading with 762 votes with 182 votes for PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in NA-53 Islamabad-II. According to Samaa TV, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is leading with 3,461 votes in NA-213 Nawabshah. GDA’s Sheer Muhammad Rind is second with 558 votes.
According to latest reports in Pakistan media, Imran Khan's PTI is leading in 12 seats. Nawaz Sharif's PML-N is leading in five seats out of 33, unofficial reports at Samaa TV claimed.
PTI chairman Imran Khan is leading in NA-95 Mianwali seat, Geo News reported citing unofficial results. Khan also maintains a lead in Islamabad II (NA-17) seat, according to PTV.
Pakistani media has reported that PTI's Omar Ayub Khan has taken lead over PML-N's Babar Nawaz Khan in NA-17. Reports also claimed that PTI’s Muhammad Shafiq is leading in NA-161 Lodhran-2.
Several channels and media reports said that the counting of votes has begun in Pakistan. Polling in Pakistan concluded at 6 pm Pakistan Standard Time. Pakistan's Election Commission has denied the PML-N's request to extend the deadline for polling until 7 pm.
Even after the official voting time ended large queues were still being witnessed in many areas of the country, including Punjab and Sindh. However, the poll panel has said that only those people who entered the premises of polling stations will be allowed to vote.
Election Commission of Pakistan has issued a notice to Imran Khan for alleged breach of secrecy of ballot by stamping on ballot in public view. He has been asked to appear before the commission on 30 July at 10 am.The Shehbaz Sharif-led party had said that delays in voting has caused inconvenience to people standing in long queues, and sought a one-hour extension under Article 70 of the Election Act 2017.
Transgenders, who are working as election observers, complained of harassment in Pakistan. They were reportedly denied entry in a polling station in Afghan Colony and Faqirabad locality of Peshawar. Women in Dir made history on Wednesday by voting for the first time in the history of country.
Voting has resumed at Quetta's Tameer-e-Nau Model School polling station, which was earlier rocked by a suicide blast that left 31 dead, reported Dawn.
Voters queue in Karachi’s Baldia Town area for casting their votes. Image courtesy: Zia Ur Rehman
Pakistan election commission has decided to proceed against politicians who talked to media — PTI chief Imran Khan is also facing electoral body’s disciplinary action. The commission has termed this violation of its code of ethics. Media houses will also be served notices, say ECP officials. Express News reported that his vote may be cancelled as he violated the "secrecy of ballot" rule after his voting exercise was captured on video.
With Wednesday's attack in Quetta, the death toll from election-related violence in last two weeks in run up to the Pakistan polls reached 203, with the same number of people injured. Earlier, an attack also took place in Mastung area of Balochistan in which 149 people were killed in a suicide blast.
A Pakistan hospital official says an explosion outside crowded polling station in southwestern city of Quetta has killed 25 people and wounded 40. Jaffer Kakar, a doctor, says five policemen and two children are among the dead. He fears the death toll could rise as many of the wounded are in critical condition.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan cast his vote at Dhoke Jilani polling station in NA-53 Islamabad. He urged people to come out and vote.
The death toll has risen to 22 people and 28 injured in a blast in Quetta's Eastern Bypass area. Injured have been hospitalised at the Civil Hospital. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has directed the private satellite TV channels to stop airing any content related to Pakistan's 11th general election.
The blast, which took place in NA-264 Quetta, Pakistan, has left at least 10 dead, including two security officials, and more than 15 injured, including security personnel. The blast took place near a police vehicle close to a polling station.
Meanwhile, LeT chief Hafiz Saeed cast his vote in Lahore. A new entrant in the fray this year is Milli Muslim League, the political front of blacklisted Islamic organisation Jamat-ud Dawa, which in turn is purportedly the charitable front of militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. The party was founded in 2017 with the intention to make Pakistan "a truly Islamic and welfare state." After the ECP denied recognition to the MML, JuD chief Saeed announced that around 200 candidates of his party would contest the polls under the banner of a little-known party, the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT), which is already registered with the election commission.
At least 25 people, including police officials, have been killed in a blast in Quetta. Image courtesy: Imran Mukhtar
A blast has been heard in Quetta's Eastern Bypass area in Pakistan. Several people are reportedly injured, according to news reports. Police and rescue teams have rushed to the site.
On Wednesday, 9.15 am, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swabi district, ANP workers fired at PTI workers which left one PTI worker dead and three injured. The names of the injured are: Muktair, Saleem, Shahzad, while Shazaib is the name of the deceased.
Firing has been reported from Swabi district in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Three people have reportedly been killed in the incident. Meanwhile, Ayaz Sadiq, the speaker of the National Assembly and PML-N candidate of NA-129 Lahore, told reporters that the voting process was going on at a snail's speed.
According to reports, power outage delayed voting across several polling stations in Peshawar in Pakistan, which resulted in difficulties for women voters and election staff.
Polling has yet to begin in Lahore's NA-128 polling stations as the staff is yet to reach the venue, reported Dawn. According to the Pakistani daily, voting in Nawabshah too did not begin on time, as election agents were not allowed to enter the polling station.
Voting across 270 National Assembly and 577 general seats to provincial assemblies in Pakistan has begun. In all, 10,59,55,409 voters will cast their votes in 840 constituencies of the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies of the country.
Elections have been postponed in eight national and provincial assembly constituencies in Pakistan which goes to the polls today, according to a media report. In one of the constituencies, a candidate had been disqualified while in the other seven, the contesting candidates had passed away, the Express Tribune reported.
Pakistan is set to elect its next civilian government at the national and provincial level. The Pakistan general election, which has been marred with controversies, allegations of military interventions and terrorist attacks on candidates, will finally conclude on Wednesday with counting the same day. The election is also important as while the national parties will be testing their reach, radical groups like Allah-o-Takbeer—a political front of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)—and several others like it are contesting the elections with the promise of bringing a Sharia government in Pakistan.
Election schedule: polling and counting
According to the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP), polling will start at 8 am (8.30 am IST) today and will go on till 6 pm (6.30 pm IST). The counting of votes usually begins soon after polling is concluded. This year too, the ECP is likely to follow a similar schedule despite an hour's extension in polling.
The results, along with who is in the lead and who is trailing, begin to emerge around 11 pm. Counting, however, goes on till 1-2 am. The disputed seats are counted again the next day, and the result is officially declared by 1 or 2 pm the next day.
People queue up outside a polling station in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa. Riazul Haq/ 101Reporters
On 25 July, Pakistan will seal the future of over 95 political parties, which are in the fray for 272 seats in the National Assembly, and to form governments at the provincial level.
At the national level, a party needs to win 172 seats to form a government on its own. The main competition—both at the national and provincial level—will be between the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People's Party and independent candidates. The latter could play the role of power brokers, as they did in the 2013 polls.
There are also regional parties and alliances, such as the Grand Democratic Alliance (GAD) formed by five political parties — Pir Paghara's Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Quami Awami Tehreek (QAT), National People's Party (NPP), Pakistan People's Party Workers (PPPW) and People's Muslim League Pakistan (PML-P); extremist groups such as the revived Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Jamaat-e-Islami, Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (a political wing of the JuD and a front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba). The GAD is likely to play spoilsport for the PPP as it contains several defectors from the party. As for hardcore religious groups like the Jamaat-e-Islamia and Allah-o-Akbar-Tehreek, they can dent the PML-N's conservative vote bank.
Then there are regional parties such as the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) of Bacha Khan's followers. Presenting a stiff competition to Imran's PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the Balochistan National Party (BNP).
According to data from the Election Commission of Pakistan, about 3,675 candidates are fighting for seats in the National Assembly, and about 8,895 are in the fray for the legislatures of all four provinces.
After ousted Pakistan prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz had to drop out of the political race, following their conviction in the Avenfield reference, Nawaz's brother Shehbaz Sharif emerged as PML-N's prime ministerial face. Shehbaz, former chief minister of Punjab, is known for his administrative abilities, but he has yet to emerge as a top contender against Imran. With Nawaz out of the way, the cricketer-turned-politician appears to have no contender.
PPP's Bilawal has a following, but he has not proved his mettle as an able leader yet. PPP, as well as regional parties, may gain prominence only if there is no clear mandate. In case an alliance is formed, irrespective of which parties come together — there are reports of a PPP-PTI alliance — it is unlikely that Bilawal will get preference over Shehbaz or Imran. So far, the only top contenders for the prime minister's post are Shehbaz and Imran.
The other candidates to watch out for are Bilawal's father Asif Ali Zardari and former Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
As leaders engage in mudslinging and lash out at each other over remarks or controversies, a lot of issues have been highlighted during the Pakistan election campaigns, ranging from the state of the economy to the dangerous trend of threatening and attacking journalists, military intervention, water supply, healthcare, terrorism and foreign policy.
Corruption may just be the most important election issue this time. Most prominent Pakistani politicians are either talking about ending corruption or are involved in corruption-related controversies themselves.
While Imran has been banking on Nawaz and Maryam's conviction in the Avenfield reference as a major win against corruption and has also been promising to put other corrupt leaders behind bars, his alleged misuse of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's helicopters and the mega Bus Rapid Transport project in the province has come under the National Accountability Bureau's scanner.
On the other hand, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto lashed out at Imran for speaking out against corruption. He accused the PTI chief of being corrupt himself. "Up till now, Nawaz was defaming politics, but now Imran Niazi has taken up this task (sic)," Geo TV quoted Bhutto as saying.
Relations with India is another major poll issue. Religious radical parties in Pakistan are rousing anti-India sentiments and making it a poll issue against PML-N candidates as well as Imran, whose anti-India stand has become a major poll rhetoric to sway the youth.
Fears have also mounted over Pakistan's economic stability before the elections, as the caretaker government pledged to stem the current account deficit by using rapidly dwindling foreign currency reserves, reported AFP.
There is growing speculation that the country will have to seek a loan package from the International Monetary Fund after the elections — for the second time since 2013 — amid fears of a balance of payments crisis.
"We have to finance this gap of the trade deficit of $25 billion by depleting our reserves. There is no other option," caretaker finance minister Shamshad Akhtar said at a press conference. "This is a major worry for our government."
Terrorism is another major issue in the region, which has affected not just civilians but politicians alike. While political rallies and candidates of the Awami National Party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Balochistan Awami Party in Balochistan were attacked mostly because of their anti-terrorism stand, most recently, Imran's PTI, have made it clear that not even those who share a good rapport with radicals are not safe in Pakistan. Then there's the issue of the safety and security of journalists and the Pakistan Army and ISI's relentless meddling into State affairs.