N rejects election results

N rejects election results

N rejects election results

His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has inched ahead of PML-N in recent national polls, but even if it gets the most votes, it will likely struggle to win a majority, raising the prospect of weeks of haggling to form a messy coalition government.

But with leaders of the long-ruling Pakistan Muslim League and other parties alleging fraud and rigging at the polls, and final results still not announced, Khan's strong lead in the results seemed likely to trigger period of political turmoil rather than a smooth transition of power. The voting today was marked by violence, with 31 people killed in an attack outside a polling station in the city of Quetta.

His Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party has so far secured 113 results out of 272 National Assembly constituencies.

Any government will also compete for influence over foreign policy with Pakistan's powerful military, which has ruled for much of the nation's history and faced accusations of meddling in the campaign - allegations it denied.

Provisional results shows Mr Khan's party was in the lead, but it is still expected to fall short of forming majority government.

Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Mohammad Raza said the "elections were 100 percent transparent and fair" but could not set an exact deadline when the full results would be released.

"Claims of electing rigging occur after every election in Pakistan - but this time around, they will be harder to brush aside given the overt role the military has played", said Shamila Chaudhary, a former White House and State Department official who's now a fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, called this the "dirtiest election" he has ever seen.

His Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal is a potential threat to opposition leader, former cricket star Imran Khan's party in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

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Imran Kahn lead Pakistan to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

Khan has promised an "Islamic welfare state" and cast his populist campaign as a battle to topple a predatory political elite hindering development in the impoverished mostly-Muslim nation of 208 million, where the illiteracy rate hovers above 40 percent.

"There's no conspiracy, nor any pressure in delay of the results".

Throughout the night, Mr Khan's supporters celebrated outside party offices nationwide.

"Despite being imprisoned, I am witnessing your passion and listening to your chants to respect the vote", Sharif said Wednesday in a message to supporters from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

He is also widely believed to be backed by the army, which fell out with Nawaz Sharif, who looked to curb the military's traditional dominance in politics.

Quetta is in Pakistan's southern Baluchistan province, which also saw the deadliest suicide bombing in the run-up to election day, with 149 people, including a provincial assembly candidate, killed at a campaign rally this month.

The requirement was imposed after the 2013 elections, when several areas banned voting by women, mostly in the religiously conservative northwest. PTI has not ruled out seeking succor from China, Islamabad's closest ally.

"PML-N and PPP were running under constraints and PTI was operating with complete freedom and establishment backing".

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