As of Friday, the results of the Thursday elections in Pakistan remained unclear due to a slow vote-counting process. In spite of the uncertainty surrounding the final result, the jailed former prime minister, Imran Khan, and the independent candidates supported by the PTI party he founded seemed to be leading the country’s elections on Friday.
In Pakistan, the partial vote counts showed that the PTI-backed candidates were on the cusp of securing 49 out of the parliamentary seats. Their main rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was close to winning 42 seats. It’s noteworthy to mention that the total number of seats in the parliament is 266.
Despite these numbers, Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Muslim League, already claimed victory in the election, according to the BBC. While his party did receive the most votes out of all the individual parties, the majority of votes were still going towards the independent candidates.
The counting of votes was a slow process. By Friday afternoon, for instance, the votes from Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous state, had not yet been counted.
Sarah Khan, an assistant professor of political science at Yale University, summarized the situation by stating, “The result was considered certain, but that certainty was shaken at the very beginning. The outcome is definitely not the kind of result that was expected.”
Imran Khan, the former prime minister, is currently incarcerated and is facing a ten-year ban from politics.
The elections held on Thursday were marred by violence. On the day of the election itself, there were a dozen attacks in which at least 12 people lost their lives. Additionally, the day following the election, two supporters of the PTI party were killed in a confrontation between police and party supporters.