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Former PM Nawaz Sharif marginally ahead as counting of votes continues for highly-contested national polls in Pakistan

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 09 Feb 2024, 03:07 am Print

Former PM Nawaz Sharif marginally ahead as counting of votes continues for highly-contested national polls in Pakistan Pakistan

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In a tightly contested battle, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party is slightly ahead of its opponents as the counting of votes for the national polls, held on Tuesday, is currently underway.

So far, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared provisional results of 63 National Assembly seats.

The results of 202 seats are currently awaited.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif will declare his victory speech after the final results of his election will be declared.

PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz wrote on X: "As opposed to the false perception deliberately built by a section of media last night, PMLN, Alhamdolillah emerging as the single largest party in centre and in Punjab. Some results awaited. MNS will head to PMLN HQ for the victory speech as soon as final results are received. Insha’Allah. Stay tuned."

PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said that the independent candidates, who are emerging victorious in the 2024 general elections have contacted Nawaz's outfit.

"The independents have contacted us and they will join any party in the next 72 hours as per the Constitution," said the former finance minister while speaking to Geo News.

Dar said that the PML-N cannot force anyone to join the party, adding that they are being contacted by candidates who are willing to join their party.

He said PML-N has emerged as the single largest party in the country.

"Based on data compiled in PMLN Election Cell and results already in public domain, PMLN has emerged as the single largest political party in the National Assembly and a clear majority party in Punjab Assembly, AlhamdoLilah!" he posted on X. "Premature and biased speculations must be avoided as we await the official complete results from ECP," he said.

Imran Khan factor

Former PM Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party were barred from fighting polls.

Several of his candidates fought as independent candidates.

Khan is currently languishing in jail.

The former Pakistan cricketer was ousted from power in 2022.

Key candidates and their victory margins

Ex-PM Shehbaz Sharif clinched the polls from PP-158 seat in Lahore with 38,642 votes, reported Dawn News.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari won the election battle for NA-207 seat. 

PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari clinched the  NA-196 seat in Qamber Shahdadtkot-I with 85,370 votes.

Violence condemned

US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel condemned poll-related violence and said: "We strongly condemn all instances of election-related violence, both in the weeks preceding elections as well as those that transpired on election day."

"These kinds of election-related violence, we believe, affected a broad range of political parties across Pakistan. It impacted polling stations, election officers, as well as the election commission," he said.

Amnesty International wrote on X: "Voting and polling stations in Pakistan have now closed throughout the country and mobile services are still suspended. Pakistan authorities must lift all blanket restrictions on access to telecommunications and mobile internet."

Fifty-one terror attacks

The Pakistan Army claimed the country, fighting a tough financial crisis, 51 terrorist attacks took place in the lead-up to the general elections and the aim was to disrupt polls.

“Despite 51 cowardly terrorist attacks, mostly in KP and Balochistan, aimed at disrupting the electoral process, the soldiers remained resolute and effectively ensured peace and security across Pakistan,” the military’s media wing said in a statement as quoted by APP.

Across the country, mobile and internet services were disrupted on polling day, troubling the general public.