Pakistan's political parties reject election results
26 July, 2018, 18:28 | Author: Orlando Hughes
In Sindh province, the Pakistan Peoples' Party seemed likely to do well in its home base, while in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, voters seemed divided among Mr Khan's party, which has controlled the provincial government for four years, and the Awami National Party, which is based on ethnic Pashtun nationalism. Full results are expected soon.
In a tweet, she recalled how Khan, who had retired from cricket after winning the 1992 world cup, took a plunge into politics in 1996 and launched the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani lost to PTI's Mohammad Ibrahim in Multan's Shujabad constituency.
"It is a sheer rigging".
"The way the people's mandate has blatantly been insulted, it is intolerable", he said.
"We will sweep the elections", said Abdul Basit, a supporter of Khan's, who watched the results on a large TV screen.
Both men are in their mid-60s, but their rivalry embodies two competing versions of reality - Mr Khan's call to free Pakistan of corrupt political dynasties, and the Sharifs' campaign to end shadowy military, judicial and bureaucratic influence in politics.
Counting has been very slow, yet from the outset former cricket star Imran Khan and his party have maintained a commanding lead.
A suicide bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta, claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, killed at least 31 people and cast a shadow over voting day.
The Election Commission of Pakistan dismissed allegations of manipulation, blaming the delay on glitches in new, untested counting software.
"This is the warning bell of a serious threat", said PPP senator Sherry Rehman.
Analysts have expressed concern that disgruntled losers could create instability for the incoming new government, which will face mounting challenges including a crumbling economy, a crippling debt and a raging militancy.
Before official results arrived, PTI and Khan supporters took to the streets to celebrate the initial results on Wednesday night.
The requirement was imposed after the 2013 elections, when several areas banned voting by women, mostly in the religiously conservative northwest.
"God has given me a chance to come to power to implement that ideology which I started 22 years ago", Khan, 65, said in a televised speech from his house near the capital Islamabad.
However, it still remains to be seen who manages to be the Prime Minister of the country, which has in its history of 7p years been ruled by the military for a long decade.
The build-up to the elections was marred by allegations that the all-powerful army was trying to manipulate the process and install a PTI-led government.
But if his party is delayed in forming a government, it could further damage the country's economy which has a looming currency crisis and is expected to force the government to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. PTI has not ruled out seeking succour from China, Islamabad's closest ally.
The PML-N has sought to turn the vote into a referendum on democracy and has said it was campaigning to protect the "sanctity of the vote", a reference to a history of political interference by the military.
According to unofficial results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Mansha Sindhu stood second against the PML-N top gun with 40,093 votes to his name.
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