ECP officially declares Imran Khan's PTI as winner
However, Khan didn't win an outright majority and must form a coalition.
Khaleej Times brings you live and exclusive images, videos and stories from ground zero. Our City Editor Asma Ali Zain is on the ground in Lahore to track the mood of an emotionally charged nation as hopes, aspirations and fear all run high in this dynamic and diverse country.
Imran Khan's PTI officially declared winner of Pakistan elections
It's official: Pakistan's Election Commission on Friday declared former cricket star Imran Khan's party the winner of Pakistan's historic third consecutive election of a civilian government, but he didn't win an outright majority and must form a coalition.
After two days of vote counting, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won 116 of 269 seats in the National Assembly with his nearest rival, Shahbaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League, winning 64 seats. Sharif, who heads the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, earlier rejected the results charging widespread fraud and manipulation.
Election officials said there was a 52 per cent voter turnout, down slightly from the 2013 turnout of 54.8 percent.
Voters on Wednesday elected lawmakers to both its National Assembly and its four provincial Parliaments.
Fawad Chaudhry, spokesman for Khan's party, said efforts were already underway to form a coalition, looking to both independents and allies, but the process is likely to take several days. Still, on Thursday the 65-year-old Khan made his first speech to the nation declaring his party victorious based on projections.
"Today in front of you, in front of the people of Pakistan, I pledge I will run Pakistan in such a way as it has never before been run," Khan said, vowing to wipe out corruption, strengthen institutions he called dysfunctional and regain national pride by developing international relationships based on respect and equality. - AP
PML-N concede Pakistan election to Imran Khan's PTI
Pakistan's former ruling party conceded defeat to cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan ahead of final results from the country's disputed election
Khan, during a speech declaring victory on Thursday, offered to investigate opposition claims of vote-rigging and said he wanted to "unite" the country under his leadership.
The party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif's initially rejected the so far incomplete results, but by Friday its leaders accepted that Khan would be the next prime minister.
"We are going to sit on opposition benches, despite all the reservations," said Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, a parliamentarian and the nephew of Nawaz Sharif, who is in prison after being convicted on corruption charges he disputes.
The latest Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) official partial results showed Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice party, had won 115 seats out of the National Assembly has 272 seats in total. The commission was expected to announce full results later on Friday.
Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had 62 seats, the results showed. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of assassinated two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was third with 43 seats.
"(PML-N) would play the role of a strong opposition," said Shehbaz Sharif, the PML-N president and brother of Nawaz Sharif, according to the English-language Dawn newspaper. - Reuters
Imran Khan's PTI leads with 115 seats
The Election Commission of Pakistan released the results of 260 out of 270 National Assembly seats.
According to Geo.TV, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is leading with 115 seats. Trailing behind is the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 62 and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 43 seats.
Imran Khan has swept to an emphatic victory in a disputed Pakistan election, but without a majority, he will need to enter a coalition to take power in the nuclear-armed country.
A jubilant Khan had already declared victory in the pivotal vote, which has drawn allegations from rival parties of massive vote-rigging in his favour.
The Election Commission (ECP) said Friday that with only 11 seats left to count, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) enjoys a strong lead with 114 seats, and will be the biggest party in parliament.
At a press conference, the commission said that the outgoing Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had 63 seats and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which could prove kingmaker in a coalition government, had won 43.
The count indicates PTI will not achieve the 137 seats needed in the National Assembly to form a majority government in its own right.
Analysts had long predicted that if he took power it would have to be via coalition, with doubts over the level of support for him nationally.
But the size of his lead still took many by surprise, and had helped fuel suspicion over vote rigging late Wednesday and Thursday.
Analyst Ayesha Siddiqa said observers may have underestimated the depth of feeling among Pakistan's growing middle class.
"The military, the judiciary, the professional middle class supported him. This is a middle class revolution," Siddiqa told AFP.
Pakistan on Friday awaited the delayed results of pivotal elections that have already seen a jubilant Imran Khan claim victory, despite allegations of massive vote-rigging in favour of the cricket hero-turned-politician.
Election officials are under fire for the lack of a result two days after ballots closed, an unprecedented delay that observers say has undermined the legitimacy of the exercise.
The vote is a rare democratic transition in the country, which has been ruled by the powerful army for roughly half its history, but has already been marred by violence and allegations of military interference.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has dismissed allegations of manipulation - blaming the delay on glitches in new, untested counting software - and said there would be a result by Friday.
The Election Commission says that with more than 80 per cent of the vote counted, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party enjoys a strong lead with 109 seats so far.
Official results show cricket star Imran Khan won in Pakistan's polls but he will have to seek out allies to form a coalition government.
After a tediously slow count, Pakistan election officials Friday announced Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won 109 of the 269 seats being contested in the National Assembly. The election Wednesday gave his nearest rival, Shahbaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League 63 seats. Sharif who heads the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected the results charging widespread fraud and manipulation.
Pakistan election results 'tainted, dubious': Nawaz Sharif
In his first reaction over the general election results, Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has alleged that the polls had been "stolen" and warned that the "tainted and dubious" results would cast a "bad impact" on the country's politics.
Talking to visitors in Adiala Jail on Thursday, the incarcerated leader of the PML-N, expressed his reservations over the elections results in Faisalabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi, the Dawn reported.
He said his party candidates in these areas were in very stable position but they had been declared defeated candidates.
A number of party leaders, who visited the jail, quoted Sharif as saying that the Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had been "made victorious" in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite its previous government's bad performance in the province.
Sharif said that Khan's position was much weaker this time than in 2013 when last general elections were held.
He said the polls had been stolen and the ?tainted and dubious" results would cast a "bad impact" on the country's politics, the daily reported.
"I'll be embarrassed to live in the Prime Minister's official residence. It's a palace. The government will decide what we will do with the PM house," says Imran Khan.
Final results will come out within 24 hours, says Election Commission of Pakistan. "There is no delay. 90 per cent of results have been announced by Returning Officers in the field. We have received 82 per cent out of it."
PTI chief Imran Khan addresses the media in Islamabad.
Here are some highlights:
> I thank God, after 22 years of struggle, my prayers have been answered. I have got the chance to fulfill my dream and serve the nation.
> We are witnessing the strengthening of democracy in Pakistan. The election process was completed successfully despite many terror attacks. I thank our security forces.
> We have to fight poverty, its a big challenge. China is the biggest example in front of us, it lifted 70 crore people out of poverty in the last 30 years, it was unprecedented.
> I was saddened by the way Indian media recently projected me. I am one of those Pakistanis that wants good relations with India, if we want to have a poverty free subcontinent then we must have good relations and trade ties.
> Kashmiris are suffering for long. We have to solve Kashmir issue by sitting across the table, If India's leadership is willing then the both of us can solve this issue through dialogue. It will be good for the subcontinent also.
> Afghanistan is that neighbour of ours that has seen the most human misery and damage in the name of wars. The people of Afghanistan need peace, and Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan.
Female pregnancy mortality rate is one of the highest in our country and the highest number of children die of drinking dirty water. Our whole focus is on human development. - @ImranKhanPTI #PrimeMinisterImranKhan- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 26, 2018
Our policies is to lift our most poor. Our labourers, our farmers who don't even make enough money to feed their children properly. Majority of our children suffer from stunted growth. - @ImranKhanPTI #PrimeMinisterImranKhan- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 26, 2018
The scenes I saw on tv; the way overseas Pakistanis came, the elderly, the young. I want to salute them all because they have made our democracy evolve and progress. - @ImranKhanPTI#PrimeMinisterImranKhan- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 26, 2018
This election has been historic; people have sacrificed so much. I especially want to thank the people of Balochistan who despite terrorism came out in huge numbers to vote. - @ImranKhanPTI #PrimeMinisterImranKhan- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 26, 2018
- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 26, 2018
Pakistani voters positive about the new government coming to power in the country.
#PakistanElection2018: Pakistani voters positive about the new government coming to power in the country- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 26, 2018
Live blog: https:/bit.ly/2AimDLk
Video by Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times pic.twitter.com/PFxX2krSHO
#PakistanElection2018: Voters congratulate #ImranKhan on his victory although they voted for Nawaz Sharif's PML-N- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 26, 2018
Live blog: https://t.co/QrBwiiuThI
Video by Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times pic.twitter.com/iJuHQd5z4O
#PakistanElection2018: People in Pakistan opine that the elections have been free and fair in the country- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 26, 2018
Live blog: https://t.co/QrBwiiuThI
Video by Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times pic.twitter.com/IJik7VzukX
Imran Khan to address the nation shortly, says PTI
Wasim Akram paid a visit to PTI chief Imran Khan at Bani Gala to congratulate him.
Channelling 1992 vibes as Wasim Bhai arrives at Bani Gala today to support and congratulate Skipper. Can we just say it's an emotional and happy moment for us all ??????! pic.twitter.com/Z4zhoSAHwt- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 26, 2018
Unofficial results show the GDA leader won NA-230 by a narrow margin by bagging 96,875 votes against her rival from PPP, Haji Rasool Bux Chandio, who secured 96,015 votes.- Dawn.com (@dawn_com) July 26, 2018
Read more: https://t.co/Vv4H20Ru3H#ElectionPakistan2018 #DawnElections pic.twitter.com/0bqXjSkVZS
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf indicated that party leader Asad Umar, who also won the national assembly seat from Islamabad (NA-54), could be the next finance minister of the country. Umar managed to retain the seat he won in 2013 in a battle with PML-N's Anjum Aqeel.
#PakistanElections2018: PTI's Sadaqat Ali Abbasi defeats PML-N's Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister of Pakistan, in NA-57 Murree, unofficial results from all polling stations. (Info and photo courtesy- Geo News) pic.twitter.com/ghrSkxEb8b- ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2018
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif met with former PM Nawaz Sharif in Adiala Jail. The meeting lasted roughly half an hour, according to Dawn News.
Imran Khan gets special protocol
Police officers have replaced Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan's private security guards outside his residence in Bani Gala, reports Dawn News.
Pakistan people's party Parliamentarian candidate Ghulam Murtaza Baloch has won election from Sindh Assembly constituency PS-88, Malir -ii by securing 22,561votes.
According to unofficial results announced by Election Commission, TPL candidate Rizwan Ahmad stood second by getting 7,694 votes while MQM Candidate Syed Abul Hassan grabbed third position by securing 5207 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 44.51 per cent.
ECP announces 338 unofficial results so far
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday announced unofficial results of 338 national and provincial assemblies' constituencies.
The ECP has so far received results of 73 National Assembly seats while it also got results of 265 provincial assemblies' seats of the four provinces, an ECP official said. The ECP has received results of 157 constituencies of Punjab assembly, 57 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly constituencies, 15 Balochistan assembly constituencies and 36 Sindh assembly constituencies.
In National Assembly seats, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has grabbed 22 seats so far, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) got nine seats, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPP) obtained four seats while Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) won one seat.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Islam chief Imran Khan will deliver his victory speech at 4 pm (3pm UAE time) from Islamabad's Bani Gala area, according to media reports.
Jemima Goldsmith, the first wife of the thrice-married Imran Khan, congratulated her son's father for the win.
22 years later, after humiliations, hurdles and sacrifices, my sons' father is Pakistan's next PM. It's an incredible lesson in tenacity, belief & refusal to accept defeat. The challenge now is to remember why he entered politics in the 1st place. Congratulations @ImranKhanPTI- Jemima Goldsmith (@Jemima_Khan) July 26, 2018
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate, Imran Khattak has won election from National Assembly constituency NA-26 Noshawara -ii by securing 90,255 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Awami National Party candidate, Jamal Khan Khattak stood second by getting 47,132 votes. The third position was grabbed by MMA candidate, Asif Luqman Qazi with 22,777 votes.
Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has also been defeated by PTI's M Ibrahim Khan, according to unofficial results.
Shehbaz Sharif loses with 22,756 votes, to PTI's Saleem Rehman, who received 68,162 votes.
Shehbaz Sharif loses NA-3 with 22,756 votes, to PTI's Saleem Rehman, who received 68,162 votes. However, Sharif won NA-132https://t.co/Vhog7riWtW#Elections2018 #PakistanElections2018 #ElectionResults pic.twitter.com/hVwOxeuoBL- The Express Tribune (@etribune) July 26, 2018
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) candidate Gul Zafar Khan has won election from National Assembly constituency NA-41 Tribal Area-II by securing 22,730 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Independent candidate Abdul Majeed Shah stood second by getting 14,792 votes. The third position was grabbed by Abdur Rasheed of Muttahida Majlis e Amal Party with 11,415 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 38.17 per cent.
Amjad Ali of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has won election from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituency PK-06 Swat-V by securing 24,225 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Awami National Party's Sher Shah stood second by getting 10,211 votes. The third position was grabbed by Haseeb Ali Shah of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) with 9,917 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 40.03%.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Asif Khan has won election from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa constituency PK-76 Peshawar-XI by securing 19,041 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Hidayat Ullah stood second by securing 6,256 votes while Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Bahr Ullah grabbed third position by getting 6,123 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 41.69%.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Muhammad Saqib Khursheed has won election from Punjab constituency PP-234 Vehari-VI by securing 37,953 votes. According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Zahid Iqbal stood second by securing 34,528 votes while an independent candidate Rana Fakhar Islam grabbed third position by getting 15,146 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 55.65 per cent.
Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) candidate Muhammad Sharyar Khan Mehr won election from Sindh Assembly constituency PS-08 Shkarpur-II by securing 37,705 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Independent candidate Amir Ali Jatoi stood second by securing 26,893 votes and Abdullah of Muttihida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan (MMA) grabbed third position by getting 16,882 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 55.83 per cent.
Independent candidate Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar Wattoo has won election from National Assembly constituency NA-166 Bahawalnagar-I by securing 101,811 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate Syed Muhamamd Asghar stood second by getting 93,020 votes. The third position was grabbed by Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan candidate, Muhammad Arshad Khan with 18,084 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 62.92 per cent.
PTI's Imran Khan leads with 24,317 votes and MMA's Akram Khan Durrani follows with 22,514 votes, reports Dawn News.
Things are going neck and neck in Bannu as PTI's Kaptaan Imran Khan leads with 24,317 votes and MMA's Akram Khan Durrani follows with 22,514. https://t.co/g0QqcMJtvb#DawnElections #PakistanElections2018 pic.twitter.com/H5ajtX5mH4- Dawn.com (@dawn_com) July 26, 2018
Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Syed Fakhar Jahan won election from Khaber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituency PK-21 Buner-II by securing 16,524 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Nasir Khan of Mutahida Majlis-i-Amal Pakistan (MMA) stood second by securing 15,734 votes and Qaiser Wali Khan Awami National Party (ANP) grabbed third position by getting 15,273 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 40.24 per cent.
Mutidda Majlis-i-AMAL (MMA) candidate Anwar Hayat Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituency PK-93 Lakki Marwat-III has won election by securing 17,114 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate Tariq Saeed stood second by securing 16,342 votes. The third position was grabbed by Independent candidate Zafarullah Khan with 7,066 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 47.92 per cent.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Asad Qaiser has won election from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituency PK-44 Swabi-II by securing 31,658 votes.
According to unofficial results announced by Election Commission, Pakistan Awami National Party candidate Gul Zameen Shah stood second by getting 20,801 votes while Pakistan Muslim League-N candidate, Mahir Khan grabbed third position by securing 17,998 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 43.79 per cent.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials, complained of inadequate arrangements at various polling stations in Lahore, reports ANI.
The voters and staff members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), among other officials, complained of inadequate arrangements at various polling stations in Lahore.- ANI Digital (@ani_digital) July 26, 2018
Read @ANI Story | https://t.co/APnR8uQ0LJ pic.twitter.com/sjb04FwihA
Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaaf candidate Haleem Adil Sheikh has won election from Sindh Assembly constituency PS-99 Karachi East-I by securing 6,058 votes. According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Taj Muhammad of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) stood second by securing 744 votes and Syed Musaddiq Shah of Mutahidda Qummi Movement (MQM) grabbed third position by getting 589 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 38.02 per cent.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Nishat Ahmed Khan won election from Punjab Assembly constituency PP-206 Khanawal-IV by securing 51,353 votes. According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) candidate Rana Muhammad Saleem stood second by getting 47,807 votes. The third position was grabbed by Pakistan People Party Parliamentarian candidate Syed Wasiq Sarjees Haider with 6,617 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 57.05 per cent.
Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaaf candidate Haleem Adil Sheikh has won election from Sindh Assembly constituency PS-99 Karachi East-I by securing 6,058 votes. According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Taj Muhammad of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) stood second by securing 744 votes and Syed Musaddiq Shah of Mutahidda Qummi Movement (MQM) grabbed third position by getting 589 votes.
Voter turnout was recorded at 38.02 per cent.
The stock market shot up nearly 2 per cent in early trading on relief the likely coalition government will not be a weak one. Pakistan faces a mounting economic crisis that is likely to require a bailout by the International Monetary Fund, although PTI has not ruled out seeking succour from China, Islamabad's closest ally.
Pakistani stock market shoots up nearly 2 percent on news Imran Khan is now likely to be next PM and be able to form a fairly strong government.- Drazen Jorgic (@Draz_DJ) July 26, 2018
The markets had dreaded the thought of a weak coalition government.
"Imran Khan will have to take the support of Independents, who will listen only to the military. He has enough charisma to change directions for Pakistan," reported CNN-News18.
Imran is largest single party but without majority by himself. He'll depend on independents & small parties' support, almost certainly MMA - which will follow military instructions which means if he does things military considers out of line, support can be pulled: Shashi Tharoor pic.twitter.com/oKACxQ13rE- ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2018
PTI's Shahram Khan Tarakai won PK-47 (Swabi V) with 21,830 votes, as per unofficial results.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sher Ali Arbab from National Assembly constituency has won NA-30 Peshawar-IV by securing 73,781 votes. According to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian candidate Arbab Alimgeer Khan stood second by securing 14,593 votes. The third position was grabbed by Awami National Party candidate Muhammad Alimgheer Khalil with 11,514 votes. Voter turnout was recorded at 40.54 per cent.
Independent candidate Abdul Ghafar Wattoo won NA-166 (Bhahawalnagar I) with 1,01,647 votes, reports The Express Tribune.
PML-N's Muhammed Riaz won NA-123 (Lahore-I) with 97,193 votes, defeating PTI which secured 72,535 votes, according to Dawn News.
As per unofficial results, ANP's Naeem Bazai has won PB-16 (Quetta-I) with 6,531 votes, The Express Tribune reported.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials are bound to provide results on Form 45,instead results were handed out on plain paper.
#PakistanElections2018 As per rules,Election Commission of Pakistan(ECP)officials are bound to provide results on Form 45,instead results were handed out on plain paper in Khi&Hyderabad. As per latest unofficial trends on ARY news,PTI leading on 114 seats,PMLN-63 seats& PPP on 42 pic.twitter.com/rxFEosfG1p- ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2018
With counting of votes still underway in the 11th general assembly of Pakistan, PTI supporters across the country started early celebrations in anticipation of their party's victory while PML-N cast doubts over the counting process.
The country seemed to head for a hung National Assembly late on Wednesday, as the leads from counting centres showed no party getting a clear-cut majority.
The leads, however, put Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) ahead of the rest, including Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, from its official Twitter handle, tweeted that the party is "heading right towards Naya Pakistan".
Pakistani authorities said on Thursday full results of a general election would be delayed as cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan led in a partial count that opponents said was rigged.
The party of Khan's jailed chief rival, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, called the count an assault on democracy in a country, which has a history of military rule.
PTI declares victory in KP province.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi hosted a press conference after claiming victory in Multan.
According to local reports, PTI seems to have taken a lead in Punjab and KP.
As the counting of votes started in Pakistan on Wednesday at various polling stations, early leads showed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf ahead of Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
The voter turnout was recorded between 50 and 55 per cent of the nearly 106 million electorate, similar to the previous contest in 2013.
TV visuals showed election workers sorting through massive piles of paper ballots at polling stations across the country.
Imran Khan has beaten Muttahida Qaumi Movement's Ali Raza Abidi to win national assembly's seat 243. This is a big victory for PTI as Karachi has traditionally been a MQM stronghold.
According to non-official initial results, PTI claims to have taken a big lead in 82 constituencies as opposed to PML-N's 35 and PPPP's 20.
Pakistan you have done it!!- PTI (@PTIofficial) July 25, 2018
PTI is Leading on 82 Constituencies while PMLN is at 35 and PPPP 20.
At this juncture, we call you to Pray for Success and be humble with the victory.
InshaAllah #WazirEAzamImranKhan pic.twitter.com/UVgvcHagqM
Media has been prohibited from sharing any news or election results before 7pm. The process of counting votes has started.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, Spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces, thanked Pakistanis for the respect and love they showed to the soldiers on duty at polling stations across the country - and rejecting all kinds of malicious propaganda against the army:
Thank you fellow Pakistanis. World has seen your love & respect for Pak Armed Forces & LEAs today. U hv rejected all kinds of malicious propaganda. We are strong because we have your unflinching support. Our lives are dedicated to Pakistan and its People.- Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 25, 2018
????Pakistan wins again! pic.twitter.com/MGbujoGjZk
Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa casting his vote earlier today:
COAS & his Mrs cast vote at Rwp.- Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 25, 2018
"We are target of inimical forces working against Pak. We've come a long way in our comprehensive national effort to fail them. We are united & steadfast to defeat them, and 'TODAY' through our 'VOTES'. Please come out & vote undeterred", COAS. pic.twitter.com/J9DjRVNUAQ
Polling in Pakistan has come to a close as the ECP refused to extend polling time citing security concerns.
Mushahid Hussain Syed, PML-N leader, requested the Election Commission of Pakistan to extend polling time till 7pm.
Address an emergency press conference - convened by the party - he requested ECP to let voters enter polling booths "till the last minute," The Express Tribune reported.
Regarding the polling process, he asked the ECP staff at polling stations to brief the voters properly on voting process.
ECP has refused to extend polling time.
Asif Ali Zardari, former President of Pakistan and Pakistan People's Party co-chairperson, with his daughters Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari after casting their vote today.
Pakistani celebrities, including actors and cricketers took to social media to post videos and pictures of them going to cast their ballot and urging others to get out and vote.
Here are pictures of some of the celebs flashing their inked thumbs:
I voted! Did you? If not clock is running quickly! so should you???? pic.twitter.com/MnOC9HXxdk- Ahmad Shahzad ???? (@iamAhmadshahzad) July 25, 2018
I casted my vote today really proud to be Pakistani . pic.twitter.com/Emzgul9CKQ- Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) July 25, 2018
With election fever sweeping the nation, two Pakistani grooms even skipped their weddings to cast their ballot, according to local media reports.
Talking to reporters, the two said that they wanted to fulfill their national duty before getting married.
PML-N is about to convene an emergency press conference in Lahore's Model Town, Samaa TV reported. The press conference will be headed by party members, Mushahid Hussain and Maryam Aurangzeb.
The party reportedly has serious concerns regarding pre-poll rigging and are seeking to extend polling time by one hour.
Former PML-N leader Nawaz and Shehbaz's mother cast her vote in Lahore. The leaders' aged mother was showered with rose petals as she made her way to the polling station.
???? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???????????? ???? ???????? ???? ???? pic.twitter.com/sSsefqGN5C- PML(N) (@pmln_org) July 25, 2018
ECP may act against Khan, Shehbaz for post-vote comments
The Election Commission took notice of Khan and Shehbaz's delivering speeches after casting their votes, which it termed as "violation of the code of conduct".
The poll panel spokesperson Nadeem Qasim told Express News that actions may be taken against politicians who delivered speeches and those who voted on-camera with their every move being monitored.
Qasim said that the vote might not be endangered, but the voter may face consequences as per the Election Commission's law. The electoral body also directed media channels to not air live media talks of candidates as long as polling was under way.
The poll body also took notice of PML-N leader and former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif's press talk after casting his vote in Sialkot.
A day earlier, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority issued show-cause notices to several news channels for inviting candidates on their live election transmissions.
The representatives of the channels were directed to file written replies as well as appear for personal hearings on July 31.
The PML-N has written to the ECP seeking an extension in polling time by one hour owing to 'long queues outside polling stations', Geo.tv reported.
???? ??? ? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? pic.twitter.com/fMcr7LlMXs- PML(N) (@pmln_org) July 25, 2018
Meanwhile, heavy rain lashed parts of Lahore, affecting the polling process. Voter turnout is expected to pick up in the evening as the rain stop and the weather improves.
Transgenders not allowed to vote: For the first time in Pakistan's political history, the Election Commission in Pakistan gave the duty of "observers" during polling to members of the transgender community, however, on Wednesday in Lahore they were not allowed to vote.
"There are reports that voters from the transgender community in Lahore are not being allowed to cast their ballot in male polling stations," Dawn reported.
Members of the transgender community are not only voting in the 11th general elections but also contesting. Five transgender candidates will be in the fray.
At the onset of the election campaign, 13 transgender candidates filed their nomination papers for the contestable constituencies in both the national and provincial assemblies. But nine were forced to drop out, due to lack of funds.
Unlike women and religious minorities, transgenders do not have any reserved seats in parliament or the provincial houses.
President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday cast his vote at a polling station in NA-247 Karachi, South 2.
The President polled his vote at the polling station set up at Greenwich College in Clifton's Kehkashan area.
First Lady Begum Mehmooda Mamnoon also cast her vote at the same polling station.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari cast his vote in NA-200, Larkana, a national constituency he is contesting from.
Bilawal votes in today's election as do his sister's Bakhtawar and Aseefa and his aunt Sanam Bhutto pic.twitter.com/rMAvMCTpVQ- omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) July 25, 2018
Talking to reporters, he said today is an opportunity to elect our leadership and urged voters to come out to exercise their right to franchise.
A tough contest is expected between the PPP leader and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Rashid Soomro who also enjoys the support of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).
This just in: Polling has been suspended in station number 225 in NA-136, Lahore after PTI levelled allegations that female voters are being harassed.- Dawn.com (@dawn_com) July 25, 2018
At least 31 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide attack on a polling station in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials said, as millions voted in a nationwide election Wednesday.
"(The bomber) was trying to enter the polling station. When police tried to stop him he blew himself up," a local administration official in Quetta, Hashim Ghilzai, told AFP.
Dr Wasim Baig, spokesman for the Sandeman Provincial Hospital in Quetta, said the death toll had risen to 31 after more people succumbed to their injuries. Earlier, officials had said 28 people were killed and more than 30 injured.
#PakistanElections2018 | Polling began at 8 am and will close at 6 pm across the 85,000 booths on July 25. The counting will be done on the spot and results will be announced within 24 hours after the polling.- The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) July 25, 2018
Read more: https://t.co/GqEs8KlUQp pic.twitter.com/6ykD0qZNf0
An earlier attack in Balochistan on Wednesday left one policeman dead and three wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at a polling station in the village of Koshk, in Khuzdar district.
The military has stationed over 370,000 personnel across Pakistan to ensure security for the election, bolstered by an additional 450,000 police.
The contest has largely become a two-way race between Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, whose brother Shahbaz is leading its campaign.
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan cast his vote on Wednesday and urged the people to come out from their homes and exercise their right to vote to elect their representatives.
Talking to reporters after casting his vote here at Dhok Jilani, the PTI Chief said it was most crucial general elections in Pakistan's history hence all the voters across the country should go to their polling stations and cast their vote.
While violence hits parts of Pakistan today, voters queue to cast their vote in different parts of the country.- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 25, 2018
Video by Asma Ali Zain/ Khaleej Times
Live updates here: https://t.co/lXYChOao1c pic.twitter.com/foAyVr3ogu
Daesh has claimed responsibility for the blast in Quetta. More to follow.
Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasir ul Mulk on Wednesday strongly condemned the suicide attack near a polling station in Quetta, killing several persons.
The Prime Minister expressed grief for the families of blast victims.
He directed proper medical facilities to the injured.
Condemnable terrorist attack in Quetta by enemies of Pak seeking to disrupt our democratic process. Saddened by the loss of innocent lives. Pakistanis must defeat the terrorists' design by coming out in strength to cast their vote.- Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 25, 2018
Breaking all the traditional barriers, a number of women thronged polling stations of Upper Dir and Khushab District to cast their votes for the first time in the history as polls opened across the country Wednesday.
Queues of women were seen outside the polling stations in constituencies NA-5 , PK-12 and NA-93.
Amna Bibi while casting vote in NA 93 was excited and express her feelings while talking to private news channel said , she was the first women who make the history to cast vote in Khushab District.
Pakistan goes to the polls Wednesday in what could be its most consequential election in years and only the second transfer of power from one civilian administration to another in the country's history https://t.co/HJu2TC6ViZ pic.twitter.com/u5KvWXarRN- CNN (@CNN) July 25, 2018
She urged other female voters to come out their houses and everybody should vote. It is their chance to get their democratic right in their own country.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had earlier said that any area where women are stopped from or face hindrances in voting could face the election in its constituency becoming invalid.
With the passage of time, there is rush of voters were seen in long queues at various polling stations.
In the beginning hours, there was no rush of voters at polling stations due to their daily routine work. However, with the passage of time, a large number of voters thronged to polling stations and rush of voters was witnessed after 11 am at all polling stations across the disitrict.
Police and ranger teams have accelerated their patrolling in sensitive areas to avert any untoward incident.
At least 28 people were killed and many wounded in a suicide attack near a polling station in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials said, as millions voted in a nationwide election Wednesday.
"(The bomber) was trying to enter the polling station. When police tried to stop him he blew himself up," a local administration official in Quetta, Hashim Ghilzai, told AFP. The incident and toll were confirmed by a second senior local official.
Pakistan hospital official says 25 killed, 40 wounded in explosion outside crowded polling station in city of Quetta, AP reports.
A blast killed at least 18 people in Pakistan's western city of Quetta on Wednesday in an attack targeting a police van, media said, as the South Asian nation holds general elections.
Geo TV put the death toll at 18, while rival Samaa TV put it at 20, adding a "suicide attacker" was responsible.
Quetta blast more than 18 Pakistanis killed it is obvious that enemies are trying to sabotage #Election2018 I am sure we will defeat our enemies today Pakistan will rise again tonight #PakistanKoVoteDo- Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) July 25, 2018
There are reports of injuries after blast in Quetta's Eastern Bypass. More details are awaited.
Pakistani police say a shooting between supporters of two opposing political parties has left one person dead and wounded two people in a village near the northwestern city of Sawabi.
It is the first violence on election day in Pakistan. Ahead of Wednesday's balloting, over 170 people - including three candidates running in the elections - were killed in suicide bombings in southwestern Baluchistan and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Police officer Khalid Hamdani says it's unclear what triggered the shootout between a group of supporters of the secular Awami National Party, which has often been targeted by the Taleban, and the Tehrik-e-Insaf led by former cricket star Imran Khan, a center-right party.
Hamdani says the situation is now under control and voting is underway in Col Sher Khan village.
While 125 people from the transgender community are working as observers during polls today, there are reports of some voters from transgender community in Lahore not being allowed to vote in male polling stations.
Meanwhile, Governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair urged citizens to come out of their homes and use their democratic right of vote.
Speaking to media after casting his vote in Karachi's NA-247 constituency, Sindh Governor said change was possible through vote, after he cast his ballot in Karachi's Defence.
Seems like Hamza Ali Abbasi has just voted! What about you?- Dawn.com (@dawn_com) July 25, 2018
Share selfies of your inky thumb with the hashtag #DawnIVoted and encourage everyone to go out and vote!#DawnElections #ElectionPakistan #ElectionPakistan2018 #PakistanElections2018 pic.twitter.com/vSsIloOOPF
He said people had realized the importance of voting, and assured the public that the polling process was peacefully under way across Sindh.
Pakistani cleric who heads an alliance of religious parties and the country's parliament speaker have cast their ballots in the general elections underway in Pakistan.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman voted in the northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan soon after polls opened on Wednesday.
His Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal is a potential threat to opposition leader, former cricket star Imran Khan's party in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Khan's party has ruled the province for the last five years.
Rehman appealed to citizens after casting his ballot to cast their votes with the full sense of responsibility so capable hands could take over the country.
Ayaz Sadiq, speaker of the National Assembly, voted in the eastern city of Lahore.
A facilitation camp set up by Jibran Nasir, an independent candidate for the NA-247 constituency has been attacked by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan supporters, Dawn newspaper reported.
The vote is meant to be a rare democratic transition of power in the nuclear-armed country which has been ruled by the powerful military for roughly half its history.
Photos: Polls opened on today in a tense, unpredictable Pakistani election that could be former cricketer Imran Khan's best shot at power, after a campaign marred by allegations of military interference and a series of deadly attacks.#PakistanElections2018- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 25, 2018
Pics by AFP/ Reuters pic.twitter.com/Kt8mZBzUOV
Among other voters, the daughters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto voted during the ongoing polls today.
Security fears did not appear to deter the voters who thronged to the polling stations to exercise their democratic right. Heavy contingents of police and military could be seen ahead of polls opening.
With tight security arrangements in place, people are not allowed to carry mobile phones or handbags into the polling stations.- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 25, 2018
Follow live updates on Pakistan elections here: https://t.co/ddYQdH9758#PakistanElections2018 pic.twitter.com/TadTVweZiN
The first voter to enter a polling station in the eastern city of Lahore was a woman, business executive Maryum Arif, who told AFP she planned to vote for the PML-N as "it has served Pakistan".
She was followed shortly after by Shahbaz Sharif, who called on Pakistanis to "get out of their homes and ... change the fate of Pakistan" before casting his own vote.
Pakistan Muslim League chief Shahbaz Sharif cast his vote in the eastern city of Lahore soon after polls opened in national election.
Voted.#AbsirfImranKhan#BallaypeNishan#PakistanElections2018- MAWRA HOCANE (@MawraHocane) July 25, 2018
P.s a sweet quick trip to my home town reminded me just how Beautiful Islamabad is.
looking forward to an even more beautiful Future ?????????? #NayaPakistan@ImranKhanPTI @PTIofficial pic.twitter.com/eGvZmqdBVQ
Except for the general confusion and heat exhaustion, the voting process itself is smooth. The mood is upbeat and people are coming in good numbers just half an hour into start of voting.
Pakistanis began voting in a historic third straight election ending a campaign marred by widespread allegations of manipulation that local and international rights group say imperils the country's wobbly transition to democratic rule.
There are 85,307 polling stations across Pakistan and more than 11,000 candidates are vying for 270 seats in parliament and 570 seats in four provincial assemblies. Voting for two parliament seats and six seats in provincial assemblies has been postponed for a later date, due to attacks on candidates or disqualifications. One candidate in the Sindh provincial assembly was unopposed and has already secured that seat.
Under Pakistani law, separate seats are reserved for women and for non-Muslim minorities, who comprise 4 percent of the population
Except for the general confusion and heat exhaustion, the voting process itself is smooth. People keep coming in with preference being given to the elderly and people with special needs.#PakistanElections2018- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 25, 2018
Video by Asma Ali Zain/ Khaleej Times pic.twitter.com/6MZTH0vISL
Mall Road, one of the main and busiest roads in Lahore, is decked with party banners. Heavy rain could affect voter turnout tomorrow.
Mall Road, one of the main and busiest roads in Lahore, is decked with party banners. Heavy rain could affect voter turnout tomorrow. Video: Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times #PakistanElection2018 pic.twitter.com/M5XhYKKMjp- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 24, 2018
Preparations are in full swing in Pakistan as 85,307 polling stations will be set up for the general elections to be held tomorrow. Representatives of the Election Commission of Pakistan are making the rounds of the polling booths, inspecting them before the election day.
#Pakistanelections2018: Representatives of the Election Commission of #Pakistan are busy inspecting the setting up of the polling booths. (Video by Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times)- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 24, 2018
Follow our live blog - https://t.co/TsORLSAZJj pic.twitter.com/CLVsC6NeaE
Pakistan elections by numbers:
A total of 85,307 polling stations have been set up in Pakistan for the general elections on July 25.
In Punjab alone, 47,813 polling stations have been set up and this could make a difference in the poll results.
370,000 army personnel have been deputed at polling stations, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) spokesperson Nadeem Qasim.
17,000 polling stations in the country have been declared sensitive and 80,000 CCTV cameras have been installed in these polling stations.
In a first, 125 transgenders will work as observers on polling day.
Heavy rains could lash Pakistan on the election day on July 25. The spell of rain could throw a spanner in the wheels and affect voter turnout of the highly-anticipated general elections.
#PakistanElection2018: As the country gets ready for the big election day on July 25, the Met department has forecast rains. It could affect the voter turnout. (Video by Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times) pic.twitter.com/a7fDNPboQj- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 24, 2018
Pakistan political parties, independents gear up for last day of campaigning and a final power ahead of poll day on July 25.
Read more about the rallies here.
Pakistani political rallies have been transformed in recent years to festive blowouts, designed to entertain as much as inspire supporters to vote.
Political parties in Pakistan have used music as a way of spreading slogans and unifying supporters since the rise of pop music in the late 1980s.
#PakistanElections: With political party music blaring on speakers, roadside vendors see a spike in sale in merchandise in Pakistan.- Video by Asma Ali Zain/Khaleej Times- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 23, 2018
LIVE BLOG - https://t.co/z5VvSYQt7x pic.twitter.com/EnKAcayeuD
There are many Pakistanis who will be casting vote for their first time in the general elections. An auto driver believes in Nawaz Sharif and will vote for him.
Supporters of the 65-year-old cricket legend, Imran Khan believe he will bring positive changes in Pakistan. They have made up their mind to vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Here's why -
#PakistanElections2018: "This is the first time I will be voting in the general elections and my vote is for #PTI as I have hope they will do something good for the public." LIVE BLOG - https://t.co/z5VvSYQt7x pic.twitter.com/OkQ3jYDgmN- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 23, 2018
Who will the people of Pakistan vote for? Khaleej Times spoke to a few to know the popular choice.
#PakistanElections2018: "I will be voting for #NawazSharif as what has happened to him is unfair. There were other accused in the #PanamaPapers case but only he was cornered."- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) July 23, 2018
LIVE BLOG - https://t.co/z5VvSYQt7x pic.twitter.com/edJsi8lz2z
Roads in Pakistan are adorned with large campaign posters from all the political parties contesting the general elections. It is a crucial time for Pakistan as the election can change the face of the nation.
Move marks departure from the hard-line approach taken by ex-... READ MORE
Elderly woman charged with over 11,000 counts of accessory to murder READ MORE
Day to honour lost children and survivors of residential schools READ MORE
Advertising on the Tube guarantees high visibility to millions of... READ MORE
Cases have dropped dramatically over the past few months READ MORE
The International Astronautical Congress will be held at the Dubai... READ MORE
To win the grand prize, participants now only need to match five out... READ MORE
Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets in a brilliant spell READ MORE