Pakistan, which is striving to emerge from an economic crisis, suffered another setback when the elections result are moving towards a hung verdict. However, in the meanwhile, amid claims of rigging national elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has directed to conduct re-polling in some of the polling stations, the Dawn reported. The re-polling is set for February 15.
Pakistan, a country of 241 million people, held a general election on February 8 as it grappled with an economic crisis and terrorism in a profoundly polarised political atmosphere.
1. Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir endorsed Nawaz Sharif’s request to his opponents for assistance in forming a coalition government. Munir urged political parties to build a “unified government of all democratic forces”. According to Dawn, Sharif has approached Asif Ali Zardari, the head of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party, to create an alliance. According to the report, MQM-P has also reached to Lahore to participate in the negotiations.
2. As per ECP’s data, Independent candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s PTI are leading the race with 93 seats, followed by Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (N) with 73 seats, and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) with 54 seats. Sharif’s PML (N) gained the most seats as a “single largest party” in Thursday’s election, but supporters of imprisoned cricketer-turned-politician Khan, whose party supported independent candidates rather than running as a single bloc, got the most seats overall.
3. A group from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) is in Lahore today at the request of the PML-N to discuss their post-election plan, Dawn reported. According to Dawn, Nawaz Sharif has entrusted his brother Shehbaz Sharif with contacting the leaders of the PPP, JUI-F, and MQM-P.
4. The Election Commission of Pakistan has ordered re-polling at about 52 polling stations due to claims of rigging, which will take place on February 15, according to Dawn. These include 26 NA-88 polling stations after a “mob reportedly set fire to polling material at the returning officer’s office” and 25 PK-90 polling stations after “damage” was caused to polling material by “terrorists”. Re-polling will also take place in PS-18 after “unidentified people” seized polling materials, according to the report.