Pakistan Elections 2024: Khan's Backed Independents Lead, But Rigging Concerns Linger

General elections in Pakistan concluded on Thursday, with initial results showing independent candidates supported by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party taking the lead. However, accusations of rigging and delays in announcing official results have marred the process.

Dozens of parties participated in the election, with the main contest between Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), whose candidates ran as independents, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

To form a government, a party needs to secure 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly. Counting is still ongoing, with some early results announced.

PTI-backed independent candidates currently hold the lead, winning 49 seats compared to PML-N's 39 and PPP's 30. However, prominent figures from both PML-N and PPP have also secured victories, including Sharif and his family members.

The slow pace of result announcement has raised concerns about potential manipulation, with both PTI and PML-N claiming victory and alleging irregularities. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has attributed the delay to communication issues arising from the pre-election mobile phone shutdown.

Karachi, the country's largest city, witnessed further confusion with claims of victory from various parties, requiring verification. The ECP faces pressure to expedite the process and ensure transparency to quell accusations of fraud.

Cellphone and internet services, suspended before the election, have been gradually restored. As counting continues, the final outcome of the election remains uncertain, and the allegations of rigging threaten to cast a shadow over the democratic process.

Input -PTI


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