Pak Polls: Shehbaz Sharif secures win from Lahore

Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and the country’s former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has secured National and Provincial Assembly seats in Lahore, Pakistan-based ARY News reported on Friday citing the Election Commisson of Pakistan.

The (PML-N) has secured four seats in the National Assembly, Dawn reported today citing preliminary reports from the country’s poll panel.

According to the results received from all polling stations, Shehbaz Sharif secured victory in NA-123 seat by garnering 63,953 votes while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidate Afzal Azeem received 48,486 votes.

Additionally, Shehbaz Sharif secured victory in Lahore PP-158 seat by receiving 38,642 votes while independent candidate Yousuf Ali was runner-up with 23,847 votes.

PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz secured victory in Lahore’s PP-189 seat with 23,598 votes, according to ARY News report.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) emerged victorious in two National Assembly seats with Sadiq Ali Memon in NA 225 (Thatta, Sindh province) and Syed Ali Musa Gilin NA 151 (Multan, Punjab province), ARY reported.

Amid the delay in declaration of election results, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has contacted the Chief Secretaries, DROs and Provincial Election Commissioners, The News International reported. He has issued strict instructions to ensure immediate declaration of results, according to ECP press release.

As per unofficial results, PPP and fomer Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are tied for the lead with five seats each.

The polling process in Pakistan concluded on February 8 for the 2024 general election.

The voting in Pakistan started at 8 am and continued till 5 pm without any break to provide maximum time to citizens to exercise their right to vote, according to ARY News report.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), more than 128 million registered voters were scheduled to exercise their democratic right by casting votes for candidates contesting polls for the national and provincial legislatures.

Polling was held for 265 seats of the National Assembly and 590 seats of provincial assemblies. For this election voting in one seat was postponed due to the death of a candidate.

Pakistan’s National Assembly consists of 336 seats. A total of 266 are decided through direct voting on election day, while 70 reserved seats are allotted according to the strength of each party in the house. A party needs 133 seats for a simple majority.

The voting took place in 51 seats of the Balochistan Assembly, 128 out of 130 seats of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 296 out of 297 seats of the Punjab Assembly and 130 seats of the Sindh Assembly. The polling was held in 855 constituencies out of 859, ARY News reported.

However, voting was not held in NA 8, PP 266, PK 22 and PK 91 due to the death of the candidate.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has alleged that the mandate of people of Pakistan is being stolen. Imran Khan’s party said that every independent result showed PTI winning by a landslide despite pre-poll rigging and oppression.

PTI stated that the votes of each candidate are tabulated at each polling station on Form 45. Imran Khan’s party mentioned that copies of these forms have been collected by PTI candidate’s polling agents, which show them winning by a large majority. However, returning officers are now manipulating the results using Form 47.

In a statement released on X, PTI stated, “Let the world know that the clear and overwhelming mandate of the people of Pakistan is being stolen. Despite unprecedented pre poll rigging & oppression, there was a record, massive turnout on polling day. Every independent result showed PTI winning by a landslide. Form 45s are the primary source of election results at the lowest level.”

“The votes for each candidate are tabulated at each polling station on the Form 45. Copies of these forms have been collected by PTI candidates’ polling agents, which show them winning by a large majority. However, Returning Officers are now manipulating the results using Form 47, which is a summary of all the Forms 45 from each polling station,” it added.

PTI alleged that there are reports of the polling agents getting abducted and forced to sign fake Form 45s. Imran Khan’s party said that it has video evidence of rigging. It said that the people of Pakistan would not accept the “rigged elections.”

In the statement posted on X, PTI stated, “Furthermore, there are reports of the polling agents getting abducted & forced to sign fake Form 45s. As per Election Act, it is mandatory to issue results (Form 47) by 2:00 am. Presence of candidate and their polling agents is also mandatory during counting & compilation of process of Form 47. However, both these requirements were not fulfilled. Reports are coming in of PTI nominated candidates losing suddenly in various constituencies now, after they had already won by a clear majority.”

“PTI has certified Form 45s, which prove the fraud taking place. PTI also has video evidence of rigging. Neither PTI nor the people of Pakistan will accept these massively rigged results. Manipulation of the people’s mandate will only lead to more chaos & further instability,” it added.

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William Murphy

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