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Pakistan Poll Updates: Nawaz Sharif Seeks Unity Amongst Parties; Results Of 224 Seats Declared, Counting Still Underway| Details

Votes are still being counted in Pakistan after Thursday's general election which was marred by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.

PTI
Elections in Pakistan Photo: PTI
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As Pakistan appears to be heading towards a hung parliament, with independent candidates backed by jailed ex-premier Imran Khan's party winning 92 out of the 224 seats for which results were declared so far, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif Friday called for a unity government.

While addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supporters today, 74-year-old Sharif said his party respects the mandate of all parties, including the independent candidates backed by Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

According to the latest Election Commission data, results of 224 constituencies out of 265 were declared. Independent candidates (mostly supported by PTI) bagged 92 seats while PML-N got 63 and PPP 50. Smaller parties secured 19 seats.

Earlier today, Sharif claimed victory and also termed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) the single largest party. However, Sharif did not disclose the number of seats his party has won and counting is still underway. The last time the numbers emerged, the independent parties were at an advantageous position as they had reportedly bagged 55 out of the 139 seats.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) data shows that results of 139 constituencies have been declared, which include 55 independents (mostly supported by PTI), PML-N 43, PPP 35 and other seats going to smaller parties.

It has been reported that alleging poll rigging, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has claimed that party-backed Independent candidates who were earlier leading in polls with huge margins were now trailing. Protesting against the alleged poll rigging, PTI workers also surrounded a counting booth in Bahawalpur.

Votes are still being counted in Pakistan after Thursday's general election which was marred by allegations of rigging, sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.

Earlier today, The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) announced on Friday that its leader Nawaz Sharif is preparing to give a "victory speech" once the final results of the general elections are in.

The party also earlier also stated that it is in communication with independent candidates supported by the imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party PTI to form a coalition government.

However, amid the speculation of a coalition government, PTI on Friday ruled out the possibility of forging an alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying it is in a position to form a federal government on its own.

"We are not in contact with PPP or PML-N," PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Khan was quoted as saying by the Geo News.

The Election Commission of Pakistan shared the first results of the 2024 elections on Friday morning, more than 10 hours after voting ended. The announcement came amid claims of manipulation, unrest and a countrywide mobile phone service shutdown.

ECP's Special Secretary, Zafar Iqbal, disclosed the preliminary results during a press briefing in Islamabad at around 3 am on Friday. Among the key winners and losers are Nawaz Sharif, who won in Lahore and Hafiz Saeed's son Talha Azeez who lost his seat in the same city.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which announced results from 20 National Assembly (NA) seats on Friday, the independent candidates backed by PTI won 10 seats till now while the PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party secured victories on five NA seats each.

Seats won by PTI

  1. Samiullah Khan, an independent candidate supported by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, claimed victory in the PK-76 seat of the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly with over 18,000 votes.

  2. Another independent candidate, Fazal Hakeem Khan, also backed by PTI, won the PK-6 seat with 25,330 votes.

  3. PTI-backed independent candidate Ali Shah secured 30,022 votes to win Swat's PK-4 constituency, according to initial results from the Election Commission of Pakistan.

In a statement on X from the PTI official handle, the party stated that it won more than 150 NA seats out of 265 open for contest as per the data received in Form 45s, which are the primary source of election results at the lowest level and show the votes for each candidate at each polling station.

It said, “Copies of these forms have been collected by PTI candidates' polling agents, which show them winning by a large majority. According to independent reports, PTI has won well over 150 National Assembly seats & is in a solid position to form government in Federal, Punjab & KP (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), with a clear majority."

When asked about the delay, Zafar Iqbal told the press conference it was because the Returning Officers were still compiling the results. He also rejected the PTI's claim that the ECP was manipulating the results to "control the victory" of the party.

"This is not the case. By Friday morning, results will come to fore," Iqbal said.

Earlier, the Returning Officers had allegedly stopped issuing results to the media following an "apparent victory" of the PTI most seats in Punjab and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.

PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Khan in a statement claimed his party has won over 150 national assembly seats and also is in a position to form governments in Punjab and KPK. He urged the ECP to announce all results without any further delay.

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The caretaker government of Pakistan was yet to restore cellphone and mobile internet services in the country which were shut down just before 8 am on Thursday citing security issues on the polling day.

Former prime minister Imran Khan, the founding-chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is behind bars and barred from contesting. PTI candidates are running as independents after they were not allowed to use the party symbol - a cricket bat.

Imran Khan's close aide and senior PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari posted on X, "Counting is being stopped and results are being changed at many places! Mainly Punjab. This is the second half of counting & the point when manipulation takes place while #PTI is clearly leading. Is the world watching?"

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Seats won by Nawaz Sharif's PML-N

  1. Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif wins the NA-123 seat from Lahore with 63,953 votes, Dawn reports, citing election commission.

  2. He also won Lahore seat NA-130 with 1,71,024 votes, as per Geo News reports.

  3. According to the Dawn reports, Faisal Khan, representing PML-N, secures victory in PK-52 Swabi IV with 42,269 votes.

PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said that the independent candidates, who are emerging victorious in the 2024 general elections, are in contact with the party.

"The independents have contacted us and they will join any party in the next 72 hours as per the Constitution," the former finance minister told Geo News on Friday.

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Reportedly, Dar claimed that the Shehbaz Sharif-led party has the majority in Punjab and has won the majority of the National Assembly seats in the elections.

"According to the results that were announced till 3am in the night, the PML-N was in the lead with more seats. And even when the results were slow, the PML-N was ahead," he claimed.

He also said that the PML-N leader Sharif have spoken about collaborating with other parties, even if his own party had the majority.

"We are hopeful to form a government in the centre and Punjab and if someone else forms a government, then we will accept it as well," he added.

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PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, currently the military establishment's favourite, left his party office for home late Thursday night after receiving a report of "shock defeat", a PML-N insider told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

"Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz who had gathered at the Model Town party office left late Thursday night for home after knowing the PML-N’s humiliating defeat in the polls," he said.

Seats won by PPP

As per latest reports, Pakistan People's Party won 2 seats.

Makhdoom Jameel-uz-Zaman, the PPP candidate, wins NA-216 Matiari with 124,536 votes.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on X, "Results are incredibly slow coming in. However, initial results are very encouraging! PPP candidates and independents whom we have supported/ engaged with seem to be doing well! Let’s see what the final tally is in the end…"

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The polls closed Thursday 5 pm and ballot counting began but there was no clear picture till about 3 am Friday from the ECP about which party was leading.

As political parties complained about the delay and questioned the poll authority, the ECP directed all the provincial election commissioners and returning officers to announce the results within half an hour or else face strict action.

In a press release issued well past the midnight, the electoral watchdog also said the statements being run by media channels regarding the ECP were not true.

A countrywide public holiday was declared to enable more than 12 crore voters to cast their ballots. The polling percentage is not yet known. In the 2018 elections, overall voter turnout across the nation was 51.7 per cent.

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A total of 266 out of 336 National Assembly seats were available for election, but voting was delayed for at least one seat due to the assassination of a candidate in a gun attack in Bajaur.

Notably, 60 seats are set aside for women and 10 for minorities, and are distributed to winning parties through proportional representation.

A party needs to secure 133 seats out of the 265 being contested in order to establish the government.

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