Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeWorldAnnouncement of Pakistan election results as a 'delay' raises eyebrows; PTI-backed...

Announcement of Pakistan election results as a ‘delay’ raises eyebrows; PTI-backed candidates win 3 KP seats

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the first results of the 2024 elections in the early hours of Friday, more than 10 hours after voting ended amid accusations of rigging, sporadic violence and a mobile outage in the whole country.

ECP Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal declared the first results at a press conference in Islamabad around 3 a.m. on February 9.

Samiullah Khan, an independent backed by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s PTI, won the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly seat PK-76 by securing over 18,000 votes, he said.

Independent candidate Fazal Hakeem Khan, also backed by the PTI, polled 25,330 votes to win the PK-6, he said.

PTI-backed independent candidate Ali Shah has bagged Swat’s PK-4 constituency according to the initial results of the Election Commission of Pakistan. He obtained 30,022 votes.

The polls closed on February 8 at 5 pm and the counting of votes began, but until 3 am on February 9 there was no clear idea from the ECP as to which party was in the lead.

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

In a press release issued after midnight, the electoral watchdog also stated that statements made by the media about the ECP were not true.

When asked about the delay, Mr Zafar Iqbal told the press conference that it was because the returning officers were still compiling the results. He also rejected the PTI’s claim that the ECP was rigging the results to “control the victory” of the party.

“This is not the case. The results will be known on Friday morning,” Iqbal said.

Earlier, returning officers had allegedly stopped releasing results to the media following an “apparent victory” for the PTI with a majority of seats in Punjab and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan said in a statement that his party has won more than 150 seats in the National Assembly and is also in a position to form governments in Punjab and KPK. He urged the ECP to announce all results without further delay. Pakistan’s interim government had yet to restore mobile phone and mobile Internet services in the country, which were shut down shortly before 8 a.m. on February 8, citing security concerns on election day.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, currently the darling of the military establishment, left his party office to return home late on the night of February 8 after receiving a report of “shocking defeat”, a news agency said. PML-N source to the newspaper. Press Trust of India (PTI).

“Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz, who had gathered at the Model Town party office, returned home on Thursday night after learning of the PML-N’s humiliating defeat in the polls,” he said. .

Nawaz Sharif was far behind in Lahore’s NA-130 and Mansahra’s NA-15 constituencies.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, founding president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is behind bars and has been banned from contesting. PTI candidates are running as independents after they were not allowed to use the party’s symbol – a cricket bat.

Zulfi Bukhari, close aide of Imran Khan and senior PTI leader, posted on X: “Counting is being stopped and results are being changed in many places! Mainly Punjab. This is the second half of the count and the point where manipulation occurs while #PTI is clearly leading. Is the world watching? PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on X: “Results take incredibly long to come. However, the initial results are very encouraging! It seems that the PPP candidates and independents we have supported or engaged are doing well! Let’s see what the final count is at the end…” A nationwide holiday was declared to allow more than 12 million voters to cast their ballots. The voting percentage is not yet known. In the 2018 election, overall voter turnout nationwide was 51.7%.

In total, 266 seats in the 336-seat National Assembly were up for grabs, but the elections were postponed by at least one seat after a candidate was killed in a gun attack in Bajaur. Another 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for minorities, and are allocated to winning parties on the basis of proportional representation.

A party must win 133 of the 265 seats up for grabs to form a government.

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