Islamabad, Jul 26: The counting of votes for Pakistan General Elections 2018, which began on Wednesday at various poll booths across the country, is still underway. As per the latest trends, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is leading on over 100 seats whereas, former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is ahead on over 59 seats. Former president Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is leading on 34 seats and might play the ‘kingmaker’ in case of a hung Parliament. A party can only form the government if it manages to clinch 172 seats in total. (Pakistan General Elections 2018 Live)
As per reports, Imran Khan, who contested the Pakistan General Elections 2018 from five seats, has already won Karachi while he has maintained a lead on the remaining four. Apart from him, PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi has won NA-156 constituency. However, official declaration of the result is yet to be made. A media report claims that the final results are likely to be out around 2 AM (local time).
PTI on Wednesday hailed Khan as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. “Pakistanio! Are you ready for Prime Minister Imran Khan? PTI: 112, PMLN: 52. InshaAllah!” it tweeted. Meanwhile, the security outside Imran Khan’s residence was beefed up as PTI emerged as the single largest party in early trends. Additional forces have been deployed around his house, reports claimed.
Pakistanis on Wednesday voted in a tense election as at least 35 people lose their lives in an ISIS suicide attack and poll-related violence, amidst charges of manipulation by the country’s Army and concerns over the participation of Islamic hardliners, including Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
Hours after polling began, an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up outside a polling station in Bhosa Mandi area of Balochistan’s provincial capital, Quetta, killing 31 people, including policemen. In separate incidents, four persons were killed in poll-related violence. Clashes erupted between rival parties outside several polling stations, reports said.
However, undeterred, a majority of Pakistan’s nearly 106 million registered voters came out to cast their ballot, including women in areas where they previously stood disenfranchised due to various issues.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 3,459 candidates are contesting for 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while 8,396 candidates are running for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies – Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Pakistan’s National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 will be directly elected on Wednesday whereas the rest – 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities – are selected later through proportional representation among parties with more than five per cent of the vote.