Cricketer tunred politician Imran Khan is all set to be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, even if massive delays and allegations of rigging dominated the early hours of Thursday in the country, where official election results were still not announced even 12 hours after polling ended.
Preliminary results, however, indicated that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had obtained a clear edge over other parties as results trickled in, giving pockets of supporters reason to celebrate in parts of the country.
At a 4 am press conference, the Election Commission of Pakistan said that “technical difficulties” were behind the unprecedented delay.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Muhammad Raza Khan congratulated the people of Pakistan for participating in a “democratic polling process”, and expressed gratitude for the polling staff across the country as well as the security personnel deployed on Wednesday.
Based on reporting of 47 per cent of polling stations, PTI is leading on 113 National Assembly seats, while the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) trails behind with 64 and the Pakistan Peoples Party – Parliamentarians (PPP-P) is at third spot with 43 seats.
In Punjab, with preliminary results from 50 pc polling stations available with ECP, PML-N is currently holding its lead on 129 provincial seats but PTI is closing in with a lead on 122 seats.
Meanwhile, PTI is clearly steering ahead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a lead on 64 seats against Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal (MMA), which is currently leading on 12 seats, as per reporting from 35 pc polling stations in the province.
The preliminary results from 37 pc polling stations in Sindh show PPP-P leading on 75 seats, followed by PTI on 22 seats.
In Balochistan, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) is leading on 12 provincial seats, followed by Balochistan National Party (BNP) on 9 seats, based on unofficial results from 35pc polling stations.