Pakistan election results delayed as Khan leads, opponents cry foul

Imran Khan

His PTI party is still expected to fall short of an overall majority and to seek coalition partners.

A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) worker was killed and two others injured as party activists clashed with Awami National Party (ANP) workers outside a polling station in Nawan Kali in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, according to Express News.

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

About 371,000 soldiers have been stationed at polling stations across the country, almost five times the number deployed at the last election in 2013.

The third-largest party is the left-leaning Pakistan People's Party, headed by Bilawal Bhutto, the son of late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assassinated by the Pakistani Taliban, whom she had vowed to eradicate.

Wednesday's elections were meant to be a rare democratic transition from one civilian government to another in the young, nuclear-armed country which has been ruled by the military for roughly half its history.

With cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan set to become the next Pakistan Prime Minister, his former wife Jemima Goldsmith on Thursday hailed his poll victory as "an incredible lesson in tenacity".

In addition to charges of fraud, the vote was overshadowed by a suicide bombing early on July 25 which killed 31 people outside a polling station in the southwestern city of Quetta.

His accusations centre on official ballot results paperwork, known as a Form-45, not being shared with his party at polling stations.

Amidst a press conference by the Pakistan People's Party leaders, Senator Raza Rabbani targeted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the irregularities identified during the polling process.

Supporters of cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf waves
Image A supporter of Imran Khan in Pakistan

"This is the warning bell of a serious threat", said PPP senator Sherry Rehman.

Several smaller parties made similar complaints in public statements.

Any potential delays in forming a government would be worrisome, as Pakistan faces a mounting economic crisis that is likely to require a bailout by the International Monetary Fund and worsening relations with on-off ally the United States.

The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India's surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"God has given me a chance to come to power to implement that ideology which I started 22 years ago", Khan, 65, said in a televised speech from his house near the capital Islamabad. The ECP was also criticised for deploying the Army both inside and outside of polling stations.

Former worldwide cricket star and socialite Imran Khan is confident that a victory in Pakistan's general elections on Wednesday will kick start a revolution for a country bedeviled by corruption and insecurity. PTI has not ruled out seeking succor from China, Islamabad's closest ally.

The vote and campaigning have been marred by violence.

The PPP, which has been overtaken by Khan's PTI as the main challenger to PML-N, has also alleged intimidation by spy agencies.

"We have serious reservations".

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".

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