Islamabad: Independent candidates, mostly backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), are leading with 52 seats, according to the provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) so far, Dawn reported. The ECP has released the provisional results for 120 out of 266 seats of the National Assembly.
While PTI-backed independent candidates are leading on 52 seats, PML-N is a close second with 40 seats, followed by the PPP with 19 seats.
The unofficial results by Geo News for 204 seats have shown the independent candidates leading with 87 seats. They are being followed by PML-N at 60 seats and PPP at 45 seats.
Notably, Imran Khan was disqualified from contesting the elections due to criminal convictions. The electoral symbol of the PTI was also taken away by the ECP, in a ruling later backed by the Pakistan apex court. As a result, the PTI leaders and supporters contested as independent candidates, Dawn reported.
Among the major candidates, three-time former PM and front-runner Nawaz Sharif won from the NA-130 constituency in Lahore with 1,71,024 votes. However, in a major surprise, he lost in the NA-15 constituency in Mansehra against PTI-backed independent Gustasap Khan, according to ARY News.
Meanwhile, as the counting is underway, the Pakistan Peoples Party has alleged that the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s votes have gone “missing” from his constituency, Dawn reported.
PPP leader Sherry Rehman blamed the blockage of mobile phone services for the “chaos” in the NA-127 constituency in Lahore. She further alleged that the party was not provided with Form 45 until 10 pm on Thursday and was not allowed to meet the returning officer.
“Until now, we have not received the consolidated result...the results have been changed,” Sherry said in a press briefing.
Meanwhile, former President Asif Ali Zardari and former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also won from their respective seats. PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and former PM Shehbaz Sharif also won from their respective seats.
Earlier, the Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz claimed that the mobile phone shutdown had to be implemented due to the “threats” being faced by the country and for security purpose the shutdown was “worth it”.
“Not just proactively, not just through sacrifices, they are always looking to ensure the security of the people...I am responsible for this,” Dawn quoted Ejaz as saying while referring to the decision of closing down mobile phone services on election day.
“Even if one incident took place, thousands of lives would have been lost in my opinion, the 12-hour-long difficulties we faced are worth it,” Ejaz added. “The armed forces, Levies and police have played their role. I am confident that the election commission will also fulfil its role.” (ANI)