Imran Khan claims victory in Pakistan elections

26 July, 2018, 18:47 | Author: Amy Huff
  • As Pakistani election staff prepare for the election on Wednesday a crackdown on the media has intensified

A Pakistani resident looks at morning newspapers at a stall a day after the general election in Islamabad on July 26, 2018.

Sixty seats in the National Assembly are reserved specifically for women and 10 for non-Muslim minorities. Voting for two parliamentary seats and six seats in provincial assemblies has been postponed due to attacks on candidates or disqualifications.

If Mr Khan fails to secure an outright majority, he is likely to form a coalition with Benazir Bhutto, 29, and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

But supporters of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who accuse Khan of colluding with the army, said the vote count was rigged and termed it an assault on democracy in a country that has a history of military rule.

Television projections give his party 61 seats.

"There was a deafening bang followed by thick cloud of smoke and dust and so much crying from the wounded people", he said.

Complaints have also emerged from the independent Human Rights Commission, which issued a statement saying that in some places women were not allowed to vote.

Raza did not say when election authorities would be in a position to announce the results. Several polling stations in Lahore also witnessed delays as the election staff did not reach the venue on time, the report said.

The victor will face a crumbling economy and bloodshed by militants, who sent a suicide bomber to a crowded polling station in the south-western city of Quetta to carry out a deadly attack that killed 31 people.

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Khan, 66, told a news conference that he wanted Pakistan to become the country envisioned by its founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, in 1948 with a state that "cares for the weak" and seeks to treat all people equally.

Khan has staunchly denied allegations by PML-N that he is getting help from the military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half of its history and still sets key security and foreign policy in the nuclear-armed nation. Despite the Election Commission of Pakistan's orders to ensure a regulated power supply across the country, the Dawn reported power outages at several polling stations in Peshawar and around that delayed voting.

In a tweet on his official account, Pakistan's military spokesman Gen. Asif Ghafoor called accusations of interference "malicious propaganda".

On 16 July, at least 149 people were killed in a suicide bombing targeting a candidate in the southwestern city of Mastung. Another 400 were wounded.

Though considered as Pakistani military's favourite son, Khan campaigned immensely against corruption and with a promise to reform systems within the government. Baluchistan has been roiled by relentless attacks, both by the province's secessionists and Sunni militants who have killed hundreds of Shiites there.

Supporters of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf political party celebrate in the streets of Pakistan.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, from its official Twitter handle, tweeted that the party is "heading right towards Naya Pakistan". According to the United Nations, 65% of Pakistan's population are under 30. Images showed a smiling Khan with his ballot paper laid out in front of him as he marked the ballot. "So, the challenges are huge but they can only be done ... if we change the way we do governance in this country".

PTI has so far secured 113 results out of 272 National Assembly constituencies.

Haqqani, who is with the Hudson Institute think-tank, said the result was unlikely to change anything in Pakistan, unless the military-led establishment decides to shutdown its "jihad business" and recognises it as the source of the country's isolation and economic difficulties.

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