Pakistan’s election commission releases party positions of controversial polls after 3 days

ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 : Pakistan’s election commission on Monday released the full results of the controversy-marred general elections, giving the preliminary position of all political parties in the national and provincial assemblies.

The general elections were held on Thursday, but there was an unusual delay in the announcement of results which led to allegations of vote rigging at many constituencies across the country.

While both jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have claimed victory, a coalition government appears inevitable as no single party has got the majority in the National Assembly.

Voting was held on 854 national and provincial assembly constituencies.  According to the initial results, 348 independents returned successfully.

Independent candidates, a vast majority of them were backed by Khan’s PTI. They were forced to contest as independents as the PTI was denied its electoral symbol – the cricket bat – due to its controversial intra-party elections.

Among the political parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the largest party, winning 227 seats, followed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 160 seats.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is in third place with 45 seats.

In the National Assembly, independents won 101 seats, according to the preliminary results.

The PML-N led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif got 75 seats, while the PPP of former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari grabbed 54 and the MQM-P secured 17 seats. Among other parties, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) won four seats, PML-Quaid, three, and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) and the Balochistan National Party (BNP), two each.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the National Assembly.

Overall, 169 seats are needed to secure a simple majority out of its total 336 seats, which include the reserved slots for women and minorities which will be decided later.

About 6,05,08,212 votes were cast from all across the country in the 2024 general elections that were held on the 265 seats of the National Assembly.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 87,23,226 people cast votes for 44 NA seats with 81 per cent of the turnout. There were 2,12,60,420 registered votes.

In Islamabad, 5,87,170 votes were cast for three NA seats with a 54.2 per cent voter turnout. There were 10,83,028 registered votes.

In Punjab, 3,71,04,469 votes were cast for 139 NA seats and the voting turnout was 51.6 per cent. About 7,19,41,862 votes were registered.

In Sindh, 1,17,90,822 votes were cast for 61 seats of the National Assembly. The voting turnout was 43.7 per cent. There were 2,69,94,069 registered votes.

In Balochistan, 23,02,522 votes were cast for 16 seats of the National Assembly. The voting turnout was 42.9 per cent. There were 53,70,804 registered votes.

Meanwhile, local media reported that President Arif Alvi is duty-bound under the Constitution to summon a fresh session of the new National Assembly by February 29, as the Secretariat of the lower House has made all arrangements to welcome the newly elected members.

According to Section 91(2) of the Constitution, the president must convene the National Assembly’s session after the official announcement of election results or issuance of its notification within 21 days.

“The National Assembly shall meet on the twenty-first day following the day on which a general election to the assembly is held, unless sooner summoned by the president,” the section says.

A Pakistani journalist and analyst Nazir Leghari, commenting on the political scenario in the country following the election told PTI Video that a party begins to dilute when the people’s wishes are not fulfilled.

“If people’s wishes are not fulfilled then there is anger and the party begins to dilute. Consequently, the people then either become irrelevant or even if they stay (with the party) they are aware that it is not the same situation and a new era has begun,” Leghari said.

“Something similar happened with the Pakistan People’s Party, the Pakistan Muslim League and PTI… So this is the experience of elections.”

Also, it was reported that the PML-N is emerging as the leading party in the crucial Punjab Assembly.

Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar has shared that party supremo Nawaz Sharif will decide who will be the next chief minister of the province soon, The News International reported.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Tarar said the PML-N was reaching out to allies to decide a name for the future chief executive of Punjab. He also claimed that the PML-N’s numbers would increase to 160 in the Punjab Assembly. (PTI)