Imran Khan heads for election victory in Pakistan
July 26, 2018 -- Ex-cricket star Imran Khan is on track to become Pakistan’s new prime minister, in an election marred by long delays In ballot counting and accusations of vote rigging.
The latest results show that the party of Khan, who entered politics in 1996 after retiring from international cricket, was ahead in more than 114 of the 272 seats, putting him within touching distance of an unexpected majority.
But the results are being contested by several of his opponents, who have alleged electoral malpractice both before and on polling day. Members of the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, as well as the Pakistan People’s party and two other smaller parties, all say their election agents were expelled from some polling stations during the counting process.
Shehbaz Sharif, the head of the PML-N and brother of the jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the head of the PPP and son of the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto, rejected the results.
The winner will face a crumbling economy and bloodshed by militants whose latest attack saw a suicide bomber kill 31 people outside a polling station.
The country has been ruled on and off by the military during its 71-year history, so this election is significant because it is considered the country’s second consecutive democratic transition.