Pakistan authorities face hiccups in finalizing election results

Pakistan authorities were today faced with hiccups in finalising the outcome of the general elections due to logistic and technical problems, resulting in allegations of rigging.

More than 85,000 polling stations were set up for elections to the national and provincial assemblies but transmission of results from there stopped due to fault in the Result Transmission Service – a special software designed for it.

Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Babar Yaqoob told media that the process had picked up after mid-day and as polling staff had physically submitted about 90 per cent results with Returning Officers (ROs) who compile final tally of every candidate.

“There was some delay but we are still faster than many other countries where it takes days before final results are ready,” he said.

Yaqoob said that his analysis showed that voters’ turnout was around 55 per cent but it was an “initial assessment and could change”.

But contrary to his claims, the official website of the ECP showed that results of just 152 out of 270 contested seats of National Assembly were received.

It showed that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) of Imran Khan got 77 seats, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) got 42 and Pakistan People Party got 16. But private media gave a different picture and Dunya TV reported unofficial results of 264 seats, with PTI getting 116, PML-N 63 and PPP 44 seats.

Geo TV reported that PTI got 117, PML-N 60 and PPP 40 seats out of 268 seats.

Earlier, media reports showed that 55 per cent results have been unofficially showing that PTI was leading on 119 seats, followed by PML-N (65) and PPP (44).

However, the situation changed several times during the day but PTI maintained a comfortable lead. After the final compilation, the ECP will allot 60 reserved seats for women and 10 reserved seats for minorities on the basis of their share in the contested 270 seats.

Currently, as per results of private media the PTI may be allotted around 43 per cent of reserved seats, taking its final tally easily over 145 sets.

In the house of 342, it will need 172 seats to elect the prime minister with a simple majority. It means that PTI will still need support of smaller parties and independent winners to form a coalition government.

But the Opposition will be strong enough to corner the government on key issues and it would be impossible to implement any grand agenda of reforms.

The PTI will also face another problem as it will not able to bring any amendment in the constitution for which it will need two third majority in the national assembly as well separately in the senate. Currently, PML-N is in majority in the senate or the upper house.

Earlier, Pakistan rose up to meet a new uncertainty instead of much hoped for stability amidst numerous allegations of rigging and mismanagement of elections, which were held countrywide on Wednesday in the protection of security forces led by army, which also controlled transportation of election material and personnel.

There were complaints during the day about delay as results could not be compiled even after 15 hours since polling was closed on Wednesday at 6 pm.

Pakistan’s chief election commissioner Raza Khan officially announced the first result at 4 am.

“These elections were fair and we have not received any complaint. If anyone has proof, we will take action,” he said, as allegations were hurled against polling process and the delay in outcome of the results.

There is an interesting situation about the results of the provincial assemblies. Dunya TV says that PML-N won 130 seats in Punjab followed by PTI with 120 in the provincial assembly of 297 members.

PPP has won 76 out of 130 seats in Sindh assembly, PTI won 66 out of 99 seats in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) won 11 out of 51 seats in Balochistan.

Though, PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq said that his party will form government in Punjab with support from other smaller parties but tussle between the PTI and PML-N to form the government in Punjab is already on the horizon.

The elections have also been marred by the allegation of fraud by almost all political parties.

Yaqoob said that not a single complaint about rigging was so far received at the ECP.

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