Pakistan blast: Dozens killed, wounded outside polling station


Pakistan Election 2018 results are pouring in and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has taken a substantial lead over Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of PML-N said his party "wholly rejects" the election results because of irregularities.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected reservations raised by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) on the post-polling process and asked them to come up with evidence for redressal of their complaints.

The vote Imran Khan cast today in NA-53, a constituency in Islamabad, may be cancelled, Pakistani media reports said.

Earlier in July, a suicide bomber killed 149 people at an election rally in the town of Mastung in Balochistan province.

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"Form 45 was not given to our agents, results were stopped and votes were counted in the absence of our poll agents".

However, Sharif was disqualified as the Prime Minister and as a Member of the National Assembly in July a year ago after the Panama Papers case decision.

As polls closed, but before results came in, jubilant supporters of both the PML-N and PTI drove their the streets of the city, waving flags and happily shouting their party's slogans.

At least 30 people were killed, including a child, and over 30 people were wounded when the suicide bomber detonated outside a crowded polling station in Quetta.

Over 105 million people were eligible to cast their ballots to elect the nation's third consecutive civilian government.

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This year's national election had been dubbed Pakistan's "dirtiest election" following accusations that the military is attempting to interfere with the vote.

Such a delay could further imperil Pakistan's economy, with a looming currency crisis expected to force the new government to turn to the International Monetary Fund for Pakistan's second bailout since 2013.

"It is an insult to the mandate of millions of people", Mr. Sharif said. PTI has not ruled out seeking succor from China, Islamabad's closest ally.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which has been overtaken by Khan's PTI as the main challenger to PML-N, has also alleged intimidation by spy agencies.

"We support free, fair, transparent and accountable elections in Pakistan, as we do around the world; and we encourage all Pakistanis to peacefully exercise their democratic right to vote", the spokesperson said.

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In Pakistan's deeply tribal and religiously conservative North Waziristan, where Taliban insurgents have found safe havens, women voted for the first time on Wednesday, said Mohamad Ayaz Khan, a government administrator. Sharif's PML-N party is known for its large-scale infrastructure projects and energy projects that have reduced crippling power cuts.

PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif, who is hoping to become the next PM, was leading in NA-249 (Karachi West-II).

Sharif has denied any wrongdoing and accused elements of the judiciary and military of conspiring to bring down his government.

Khan, 65, campaigned on populist promises to build a "New Pakistan" and vowed to eradicate corruption, clean up the environment and construct an "Islamic welfare" state.

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