Nawaz party leading

Nawaz party leading

Violence leaves over 32 dead, scores hurt First democratic transition of power in its history 4,670 candidates vied for 272 seatsA Long...

  • Violence leaves over 32 dead, scores hurt
  • First democratic transition of power in its history
  • 4,670 candidates vied for 272 seatsA
  • Long queues force EC to extend voting
  • Women undeterred except in Taliban strongholds
  • Sharif wins from Sargodha in PunjabA
  • Imran emerges victorious in Peshawar
Islamabad (Agencies): Crores of Pakistanis came out to vote in the historic first democratic transition of power between two elected governments on Saturday. It is also the first time since independence in 1947 that any civilian government completed five years in office. People braved a bloody violence triggered by Taliban and other militants which left over 24 dead. The elections were held under the glare of 75,000-strong security personnel. Turnout is believed to have been high. An election commission spokesman said they hoped for a figure of 60-80%.The turnout in 2008 was 44%.
A total of 4,670 candidates tested their fortunes to enter the National Assembly; as many as 11,000 are in the fray in the four provincial assemblies. Voting was held for 269 of the 342 seats of the National Assembly and 728 seats in the assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The polling began at 8 am and was to end at 5 pm. But it was extended by an hour. In Karachi, which saw plenty of trouble, balloting was allowed until 8 pm. Women voted in large numbers despite threats, though they were sent back in Punjab and the Taliban stronghold in the north-western tribal district of North Waziristan. The process of counting of votes began as polling closed and the trends are expected early on Sunday. Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won from Sargodha constituency in Punjab province and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan won from Peshawar constituency in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The main contenders are the ruling Pakistan People's Party, PML-N led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) headed by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. Initial trends available for 229 off the 272 seas at stake showed PML-N leading in 110, PTI in 32, PPP in 31 while independents lead in 20 and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl in 10. PML-N and PTI were the only major political forces that were able to conduct a nationwide campaign after the Pakistan Taliban warned that they would target leaders and rallies of the secular-leaning coalition of PPP, Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Both Sharif and Imran voiced satisfaction over the turnout. President Asif Ali Zardari voted through postal ballot. His son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari could not vote as he was not allowed the same facility. The president's two daughters, Aseefa and Bakhtawar, also voted by post. The Election Commission termed the turnout as "very good" across the country in general without specifying the precise figure. The largest province of Punjab saw a huge turnout, it said. More than 86 million people were eligible to vote in the polls. Sharif said he was hopeful of his party's victory and was praying for a good outcome for the country. PML(N) is widely tipped to emerge as the single largest party in the polls The violent run-up to the elections left at least 100 people, including three candidates, dead in terror attacks after the Taliban told Pakistanis to boycott the elections.
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