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Pakistan General Election 2024: NA-19, NA-71, NA-73 Results Soo Far

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Pakistan General Election 2024 NA-19, NA-71, NA-73 Results Soo Far

(CTN News) – Votes are being counted in Pakistan following Thursday’s general election, which was marred by the suspension of mobile phone services and violent protests.

Election officials warned local officials to hurry up the process after results were delayed.

The party of disqualified and imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan claims the delay is evidence of vote manipulation.

Khan’s supporters are battling the party of another former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.

Many analysts believe this is one of Pakistan’s least credible elections.

Khan was deposed in a no-confidence vote two years ago and replaced as prime minister by Mr Sharif’s younger brother Shehbaz, president of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

Khan, who was imprisoned on corruption charges last year, was barred from running in Thursday’s election, and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), described the internet shutdown as a “cowardly act” as voters struggled to find their polling places.

The administration claimed services had been interrupted due to attacks intended at disrupting the vote, which the military claims killed at least nine people.

Both phone and internet services were cut barely 10 minutes before voting began on Thursday, while wifi networks appeared to be operational.

One voter told the BBC that they were startled by the decision, saying that “voters should be facilitated instead of [having to be met with] such hurdles”.

Another stated she had expected a complete shutdown. Many voters in Lahore told the BBC that the internet blackout made it impossible to arrange cabs to vote, while others said they couldn’t communicate with other family members to coordinate when to travel to polling locations.

Pakistan has a history of militant attacks, but on election day, there were only a few acts of violence. The worst-case scenario occurred in Dera Ismail Khan, in the north, when four police officers were killed in a bomb strike on their car.

The shutdown was also condemned by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of deceased ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who demanded that services be restored “immediately”.

The country has previously suspended internet connections to limit the flow of information, but such a widespread shutdown is unprecedented, particularly during an election.

Approximately 128 million individuals registered to vote, with nearly half of them under the age of 35. More over 5,000 candidates competed for 266 directly elected seats in the 336-member National Assembly, including only 313 women.

While the PML-N and the PPP were considered the two largest parties going into the election, selecting candidates from Khan’s PTI proved more challenging after the party was barred from using the cricket bat symbol, which all of its candidates use.

The move required PTI-backed candidates standing as independents to utilise alternative symbols, such as calculators, electric heaters, and dice. In a country where more than 40% of the population cannot read, electoral symbols play an important role.

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The PTI claims that various techniques were used to prevent their candidates from running for and gaining seats, such as locking up PTI members and supporters and prohibiting them from organising rallies, thus forcing them underground.

Imran Khan is serving at least 14 years in prison after being sentenced in three separate incidents within five days last week. The PTI claims intervention from Pakistan’s powerful military, with whom Khan is alleged to have clashed before to his ouster and detention.

People could, however, vote for Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N leader who was serving a corruption conviction at the time of the previous election.

Mr Sharif was deposed in a 1999 military coup and saw his third tenure as prime minister cut short in 2017, although he has lately returned from self-imposed exile.

He had his lifelong ban from holding office overturned and his criminal record expunged at the end of last year, allowing him to run for a record fourth term.

Millions have been severely impacted by the country’s economic troubles, which were exacerbated by disastrous floods in 2022. Inflation is skyrocketing, and individuals are struggling to pay their obligations. Violence is also on the increase.

According to the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), violent occurrences in Pakistan increased for the third consecutive year in 2023, with the highest number of documented fatalities – including security forces, militants, and civilians – since 2017.

Pakistan General Election 2024: NA-19, NA-71, NA-73 Results Soo Far

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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