Pakistan Elections: Imran Khan leads, Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N cries foul

Former Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan led in partial Pakistan election results of the country’s general election on Thursday, as the party of his jailed rival Nawaz Sharif, rejected the eventual result as “blatantly” rigged.

According to a Pakistani News source, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was leading on 113 seats followed by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N on 64. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party was leading on 43 National Assembly seats. In the directly contested 272 seats in Pakistan’s Parliament, 137 is the halfway mark for a simple majority.

An official at the Election Commission said early on Thursday that 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.

Voting was marred by reports of violence and a deadly suicide blast near Quetta, that killed over 35 people and left 67 injured. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan has sent a notice to PTI chairman Imran Khan for voting in full public view and in front of the cameras — a violation of the code of conduct.

Elections in Pakistan took place this time under the allegations of manipulation by the army and concerns over participation of terrorist and radical groups. The race was mostly a two-way one, between former cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

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