As vote counting unfolds in Pakistan’s general elections, Imran Khan, founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and currently in jail, declares victory. Khan attributes the triumph to the substantial voter turnout, affirming that the people have chosen his party.
Emphasis on protecting ‘Form 45’
Imran Khan underscores the significance of ‘Form 45,’ aiming to safeguard the people’s mandate. Despite challenges, he expresses confidence in his victory, asserting that “no force can defeat an idea whose time has come.”
Understanding ‘Form 45’
‘Form 45,’ also known as the ‘Result of the Count’ form, holds crucial importance in the Pakistani electoral process. This document is designed to ensure transparency and accountability by recording and disclosing voting outcomes at specific polling places.
Emerging trends in vote counting
Imran Khan shares ongoing vote count trends, indicating PTI-backed Independent candidates leading in 125 seats. Other standings include Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 44 seats, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 28, MQM at 9, and JUI at 4.
Rigging allegations and disruptions
Amidst allegations of rigging and disruptions, general elections conclude. Concerns arise about the fairness of the polls as reports surface of people being barred from voting and accusations of irregularities in various constituencies.
Internet and mobile services shutdown
In a significant move, the Federal Interior Ministry suspends mobile phone and internet services nationwide to maintain law and order during the elections. This decision draws criticism from major political parties, with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanding immediate service restoration.
Women voters banned, blast near polling station
Reports emerge of women voters being banned from casting their votes in Swabi district. Additionally, a blast near a polling station in Washbood Panjgur results in two children’s deaths, leading to the suspension of polling at that location.
PTI allegations and demands
PTI alleges irregularities in NA-236 constituency and accuses authorities of deliberately creating obstacles. The party demands an extension of voting time, while the Election Commission of Pakistan rejects reports of delays in certain polling stations.
Escalating political violence
Ahead of election day, political violence escalates with two blasts in Balochistan, claiming at least 30 lives. The province, plagued by insurgency, faces challenges as the caretaker administration fails to address economic dysfunction, posing significant hurdles for the incoming administration.
Economic challenges ahead
Pakistan’s caretaker administration, led by Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, grapples with economic issues, including mounting debt and inflation. The incoming administration will confront a crisis-stricken economy, compounded by the impending expiration of the IMF bailout agreement in March.