ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s flamboyant cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was leading in 103 seats while its main rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was way behind with 59 seats in an election marred by a deadly suicide attack and allegations of manipulations by the powerful military.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of former president Asif Ali Zardari was leading in 34 seats, a sign indicating that he could be a ‘kingmaker’ in case of a hung parliament, according to media reports.
According to the latest trends available for 252 of the National Assembly’s 272 seats, independents were leading in 18 seats. Polling was postponed in two constituencies following the death of candidates in terror attacks.
Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb raised objections over the counting process and alleged that her party’s agents were being forced out from the polling stations in several constituencies. “The counting process is being carried out behind closed doors and changes are being made to Form-45,” she alleged while talking to reporters.
The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) – an alliance of traditional religious parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami led by Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan led by Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani and Tehreek-e-Jafaria led by Allama Sajid Naqvi – was leading in 12 national assembly seats.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was leading in 11 seats. Pakistan’s National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected whereas the rest – 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities – are selected later through proportional representation among parties with more than five per cent of the vote.
A party can only form the government if it manages to clinch 172 seats in total. A single party will need at least 137 of the directly elected seats to be able to form the government on its own.