Former cricket star Imran Khan declares victory in Pakistan general election

26 July, 2018, 18:30 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Imran Khan made a televised address last night to announce himself as Pakistan’s prime minister-elect

"This [PTI] would be first government which will avoid political victimization".

Mr Khan delivered a victory speech on Pakistani television, but no official result has been released from the Election Commission.

In third place was the Pakistan People's Party of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 29, the son of two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.

It is a stunning rise for an anti-corruption crusader who spent much of his political career on the fringes of Pakistani politics.

Former cricket player and playboy Imran Khan, 65, is expected to win.

The Election Commission attributed the delay to technical troubles. The results had been due by around 2 a.m. local time.

But Yaqoob said the vote-counting system, which he said was untested, had "crashed", adding: "There is definitely no conspiracy, no one wants to influence the results".

A Reuters reporter at the ECP offices said the main computer screen showing results in the viewing area was malfunctioning as well, with only a handful of results showing.

Electoral authorities said official results declaring an outright victor were not expected before late Thursday morning.

Shahbaz Sharif - is the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The rise of Khan was imminent after a provincial victory in the 2013 general elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where he managed to govern for full 5 years.

Khan's party spokesman, Fawad Chaudhry, tweeted "Congratulations to the nation on a new Pakistan!"

Enraged by the country's bureaucracy and incessant corruption, Khan entered into politics in 1996 by founding a centre-right party named Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf with a promise to root out corruption and ensure justice to all.

Khan's camp is increasingly getting confident, but still appears likely to fall short of a clear majority in the Pakistan National Assembly.

Analysts said investors were relieved Khan was unlikely to have to rely on major opposition parties in a messy coalition.

He went on to call the elections the "most transparent" in the country's history.

Hours after the polls opened, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a crowd waiting to vote in the southwestern city of Quetta.

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.

There are 85,307 polling stations across Pakistan and more than 11,000 candidates are vying for 270 seats in parliament and 570 seats in four provincial assemblies. The PML-N and the PPP both raised questions on the transparency of the vote counting process, alleging their polling agents were not allowed to verify vote counts as is mandated by law.

"It is a sheer rigging".

"We will not allow anyone to steal the mandate the nation has given to us", she told a news conference.

PPP leader Taj Haider also joined the protest claiming that copies of Form 45 were not handed to the polling agents which should be done under urgent notice.

The ECP said that it has so far received 600 complaints from all over Pakistan regarding the ongoing elections.

Pakistan's military has ruled for approximately half the period since the country's independence in 1947, staging coups three times.

"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.


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