Massive delays and allegations of rigging dominated the early hours of Thursday in Pakistan, where official election results were still not announced even 12 hours after polling ended. Preliminary results, however, indicated that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had obtained a clear edge over other parties as results trickled in.
Although PTI workers and supporters started celebrations before the final results, no statement — or even a tweet — has been issued by Khan on his victory. His spokesperson Naeemul Haque, however, tweeted that the PTI chief will “address the nation” today at 2pm “in celebration and recognition of the massive support received from the people of Pakistan in the 2018 elections which was a contest between the forces of good and evil”.
According to AFP, Gallup Pakistan estimated voter turnout at between 50 to 55 per cent in an electorate of nearly 106 million — similar to the previous contest in 2013.
Based on reporting of 47 per cent of polling stations, PTI is leading on 114 National Assembly seats, while the PML-N trails behind with 64 and the PPP-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) is at third spot with 42 seats.
In Punjab, with preliminary results from 50pc polling stations available with ECP, PML-N is currently holding its lead on 129 provincial seats but PTI is closing in with a lead on 122 seats.
Meanwhile, PTI is clearly steering ahead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a lead on 64 seats against Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal (MMA), which is currently leading on 12 seats, as per reporting from 35pc polling stations in the province.
The preliminary results from 37pc polling stations in Sindh show PPP-P leading on 75 seats, followed by PTI on 22 seats.
In Balochistan, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) is leading on 12 provincial seats, followed by Balochistan National Party (BNP) on 9 seats, based on unofficial results from 35pc polling stations.
According to Geo News, Awami National Party leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour conceded defeat to PTI’s Shaukat Ali, his competitor on Peshawar’s NA-31 seat, saying: “The results indicate that Imran Khan is a favourite leader of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I am a democratic person and I admit the defeat.”
Counting is still going on at the polling stations of different constituencies.