Pakistan has temporarily suspended mobile services across the country for the general elections
Candidates backed by former prime minister Imran Khan appear to be doing better than expected in Pakistan's poll numbers, with the party of favorite Nawaz Sharif maintaining a substantial lead, according to forecasts.
Long overnight delays marred the election results, causing frustration and panic among voters who alleged ballot fraud.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been announcing the results of 265 contested parliamentary seats on its website since this morning.
The Election Commission cited an unspecified “internet issue” for the long delay as the PTI party alleged that “the massive mandate of the people of Pakistan is being stolen”.
According to Geo TV projections, independent candidates, most of them backed by Mr Khan, have won 60 seats, while Mr Sharif's PML-N is slightly behind with around 40 seats.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's Pakistan People's Party is in third place with 31 seats so far.
Meanwhile, Mr Sharif is still preparing to deliver his victory speech, said his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif, as votes are being counted.
Any party needs 133 seats in parliament for a simple majority, but many analysts believe the vote will not produce a clear victory.
Imran Khan's demise was quick and brutal – but it was wrong to dismiss him
A few years ago the former cricketer successfully navigated Pakistan's turbulent political landscape – and now he is behind bars for 14 years. Yet all is not lost for the man who once summoned even the nation's fearsome army, writes Omar Waraich:
Marusha Muzaffar9 February 2024 10:10
Imran Khan 'in no mood to compromise'
“I think it is [Imran] Just because Khan is in jail now doesn't mean he's done. His willingness and ability to reconcile with the military and his recent messages from his prison cell suggest he is in no mood for reconciliation, but that could change,” says Michael Kugelman, director of the Institute for South Asian Studies at the Wilson Center. The Independent.
“He may have many more years of productive politics,” Kugelman adds.
Meanwhile, PTI-backed candidates appear to be doing much better than expected in Pakistan's poll numbers, with the party maintaining a substantial lead over favorite Nawaz Sharif's party, according to projections.
Marusha Muzaffar9 February 2024 09:55
The credibility of Pakistan's elections has already been eroded by internet blackouts and slow numbers eagerly awaiting results
“Elections are fair and credible,” says columnist Meher Tarar The Independent. The situation here is murky and the internet suspension is unprecedented, as it did not happen during the 2013 elections when terrorism was at its peak.
Read the full piece by Shweta Sharma here:
Marusha Muzaffar9 February 2024 09:40
PTI chief says no alliance with PPP or PML-N
If the PTI-backed independents win the elections, they will not form an alliance with any other party to form the government, said PTI leader Gohar Ali Khan.
He told Geo News: “We have nothing to do with PPP or PML-N” and added that there was no need to form any alliance as PTI was determined to win the required number of seats to form a majority.
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said that the Independents, who are currently leading in the polls, are in touch with the party.
Analyst Michael Kugelman wrote in X: “Even if the PTI is declared the winner, the situation will be tricky as its candidates had to contest as independents. It should be ensured that these successful independents do not merge with other parties. The establishment may pressure them to do so.
Marusha Muzaffar9 February 2024 09:25
PML-N 'in touch' with successful independents, says party
PML-N official Ishaq Dar has said that the party is in touch with the independents who are currently leading in the elections.
“Independents have contacted us and they will join any party within the next 72 hours as per the constitution,” the former finance minister told Geo News today.
He said PML-N was being approached by independents who wanted to join their party.
Dar said that PML-N cannot force anyone to join the party and added that candidates who want to join their party contact them.
He further said, “If independents do not join any political party, they will lose their reserved seats. Independents are not even close to PML-N's success in Punjab.
Marusha Muzaffar9 February 2024 09:03
What is Imran Khan's appeal process following two new major convictions?
Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan will take his long-running legal battle to higher courts after he was found guilty in two separate cases a week before the country's general election, his party says.
Mr Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were jailed for 14 years last week for illegally selling gifts worth more than £395,000 from the state treasury, known as “Toshakana”, during his prime ministership. He was also banned from holding public office for 10 years and fined approximately £2.2m each.
The former cricket star-turned-politician was given another 10-year term a day earlier on charges of divulging state secrets. He is already serving 3 years in prison in a corruption case.
Shweta Sharma9 February 2024 09:00
Nawaz Sharif is preparing to deliver a 'victory speech' soon, says his daughter
The daughter of Nawaz Sharif, the leading candidate contesting in the Pakistani elections, has said
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is “emerging as the single largest party in the Center and Punjab”.
He said Mr Sharif would visit the PMLN headquarters for a victory speech once the final results were out. Inshah Allah”.
He condemned the “false perception” deliberately created by some media in Pakistan.
His comments came even as Jio TV results showed the PML(N) trailing by around 20 seats.
Shweta Sharma9 February 2024 08:46
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Ex-minister bids to become Pakistan's youngest prime minister
“The youth of Pakistan are going to face the consequences of the decisions taken today,” Mr Bhutto Zardari told Reuters in his hometown of Larkana in Sindh province.
Shweta Sharma9 February 2024 08:45
PTI's independent candidates have bagged 56 seats so far: Jio TV predictions
Independent candidates contesting Pakistan's national elections, most of them backed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, have won 56 of the 106 parliamentary seats, according to Geo News estimates, with counting underway today.
Elections were held for 265 of the 266 seats in the National Assembly and a political party needed 133 seats for a simple majority.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) has won at least 34 seats so far, according to Geo TV.
Mr Sharif's aide Ishaq Dar suggested on Friday that the PML(N) could still form a coalition government with a mix of independent candidates.
“I believe we will form a government,” Mr Dar said, adding that his party would agree if any other party emerged as the clear winner.
According to the group's website, Jio TV's predictions are running ahead of the official results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, which have so far reached a total of 70 seats.
Here are the results so far from the ECP website:
Independents (many support PTI) – 24PML-N – 18PPP – 24
Shweta Sharma9 February 2024 08:05
PTI voters are increasingly frustrated by the delayed results
Talha Hassan, a PTI voter from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa says The Independent Reasonable delays in announcing election results have meant growing frustration among the public and voter tampering.
“It's annoying. Despite the issues, the results should have been announced within 12 to 15 hours, but now it's been more than a day. Also, every result seems to be against the PTI, which indicates that the election was rigged,” says Hasan. .
He says that the majority of people support the PTI and the main reason for that is Imran Khan, who is in jail after being convicted on charges just before the elections.
Frustration can quickly turn into protests, he warns.
Shweta Sharma9 February 2024 08:00