[Imran Khan arrives at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)]
Islamabad: Millions of Pakistanis on Wednesday July 25, 2018 flocked to polling stations to vote in the country's Parliamentary and Provincial elections that were marred by violence, including targeting of candidates.
People voted on Wednesday to send 272 representatives to the National Assembly. The Election Commission of Pakistan says counting of votes across the country began after polling and first results are expected to start coming in a short while.
Unlike India, where polling is done using Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), people in Pakistan will use ballot papers to caste their votes.
According to ARY News, PTI Chairman Imran Khan is leading by over 04,000 votes in Mianwali seat. ARY News said, Dr Yasmeen of PTI is also leading in Lahore III. PTI candidates are also ahead of their rivals in Multan II and Layyah I seats. These are the unofficial trends and will be changed after accurate figures trickle in from the ECP, ARY News said.
At least 29 people were killed in a suicide attack on Wednesday in western city of Quetta near a polling station. Shiraz Khan Paracha, Director of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, said the "horrific" suicide attack in Quetta has not deterred people from voting, Al Jazeera reported.
"What we are observing is that despite the very serious incident, people are still coming to the polling stations, there are long queues all across Pakistan and the expectation is that this time the turnout could be even higher than the previous elections," he told Al Jazeera in an interview from Islamabad.
According to data released by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), a total of 3,459 candidates — 1,623 from Punjab, 824 from Sindh, 725 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 287 from Balochistan — were cleared to run for the 272 general seats of the national assembly. However, elections in two constituencies — NA-60, NA-108 — were later postponed by the commission.
National Assembly Pakistan Current Party Position
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also comprises the President of Pakistan and Senate of Pakistan (Upper House). The National Assembly consists of a total of 342 members who are referred to as Members of the National Assembly (MNAs). Of them 272 members are directly elected members whereas 70 seats are reserved for women and religious minorities. A political party must win 172 seats to form a government.
The 14th National Assembly of Pakistan currently has a majority of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Nawaz) Sharif and its allies. While PML-N has a total of 178 members, its allies including JUI-F (13 members) and others have 21 seats. The PML-N and allies with a total tally of 199 members are currently in power in Pakistan.
There are 14 parties which form the Opposition with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) having 46 members, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) having 34 members and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) having 24 members.
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