Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf today inched closer to becoming the single largest party in the country’s general elections by leading on 122 seats in an early count of votes, amid charges of rigging by rival political parties. In the eastern city of Lahore, capital of Punjab province and the country’s political heartland, PTI supporters rejoiced by waving flags and raising party slogans as results trickled in after the voting yesterday.
The 65-year-old former cricketer’s PTI was ahead in 122 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies, while its main rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was way behind with 65 seats.
The Pakistan People’s Party was leading on 44 seats while others were ahead in 17 seats. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officially announced the first result at 4.00am.
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. The PML-N and the PPP, both raised questions on the transparency of the vote counting process, alleging their polling agents were not allowed to verify vote counts as is mandated by law.