Pak polls: Sharif set for a third term as PM
With 272 national assembly seats, 137 is the simple majority mark - and Nawaz Sharif's PML-N is leading in 125.
Islamabad/Lahore: Party-wise National Assembly results:
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) - 125 (Unofficial, Geo News)
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) - 31 (Unofficial, Geo News)
Independent - 31 (Unofficial, Geo News)
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) - 32 (Unofficial, Geo News)
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI) - 10 (Unofficial, Geo News)
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) - 3
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) - 3
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) - 17
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) - 2
National Party (NP) - 1
Balochistan National Party (BNP) - 0
All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) - 1
Awami National Party (ANP) - 0
Results - Key contestants:
Nawaz Sharif, PMLN: Wins from Sargodha, Punjab
Shahbaz Sharif, PMLN: Wins from Lahore
Imran Khan, PTI: Wins from Peshawar, Mianwali, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Rawalpindi.
Raza Pervez Ashraf, PPP: Trailing in Rawalpindi, Punjab
(All results are subject to change by ECP. )
7:56 am: Counting is still on for the historic elections in Pakistan and is in the final stages, but the big picture is clear. Voters have given a clear mandate to Nawaz Sharif, who is set to become Prime Minister for a record third time. With 272 national assembly seats, 137 is the simple majority mark - and right now Sharif's PML-N is leading in 125.
The ruling Pakistan People's Party is down 66 seats as compared to last time. The big gainer is Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf Party which has won 31 seats. It's neck-and-neck with the PPP now.
7:44 am: Congratulating the people of Pakistan on the successful elections, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has applauded the courage and determination of political parties to engage in the electoral process despite the challenging security situation ahead of the voting. "The Secretary-General congratulates the people and government of Pakistan on the successful conduct of national and provincial elections on 11 May 2013," said a UN statement.
04:00 am: "The biggest power of democracy is the opposition. We will show this country what a strong opposition is like," says PTI chief Imran Khan.
00:30 am: Supporters of Imran Khan's PTI took to the streets on Sunday as the party failed to make a mark in the Pakistan elections. The crickter-turned-politician has alleged vote rigging in a few provinces of Pakistan. The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf will produce a "white paper" on the alleged rigging so that such practices could be prevented in future, he has said.
Live Updates (Sunday):
11:10 pm: According to state-run PTV, the unofficial results announced till late in the night showed that Sharif's (PML-N) is leading with 118 seats of 272 parliamentary seats that went to the polls on Saturday.
10:36 pm: US President Barack Obama on Sunday congratulated Pakistan on successful completion of parliamentary elections and said his administration is ready to work "as equal partners" with the new government.
9:45 pm: PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif spoke to some independent MPs on Sunday to get them onboard to form the government at the centre, say reports. He also reportedly discussed few key cabinet portfolios with them.
9:10 pm: The PML-N supporters took to the streets in Lahore in droves on Sunday to celebrate the victory of Nawaz Sharif's party in a landmark general election that marked the first democratic transition in Pakistan's troubled history.
8:48 pm: PTI chief Imran Khan has alleged that his party had been affected by rigging in Punjab and Sindh provinces. The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf will produce a "white paper" on the alleged rigging so that such practices could be prevented in future, he said.
8:26 pm: Union Heavy Industries Minister
Praful Patel has expressed confidence that Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan government will bring a new perspective to Indo-Pak relations.
7:49 pm: Counting of votes is progressing at a slow pace with trends indicating that Sharif may marginally fall short of absolute majority but will be able to make it up by getting the support of independent candidates and smaller rightist parties like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam which was ahead in 11 seats.
7:13 pm: PPP candidate Makhdoom Mohammad Amin Fahim has won from NA-218 (Old Hyderabad-I) constituency with 95,543 votes, according tro results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
6:30 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulates Nawaz Sharif for his "emphatic victory" in Pakistan elections. He also invites Sharif to visit India at a mutually convenient
date. Singh conveys to Sharif that India desires to work with the Pakistan government in charting a new course for bilateral ties.
6:22 pm: Even as PTI chief Imran Khan conceded defeat in Pakistan elections, he said, "the pain of this defeat vanished when I remembered the zeal among the youth. I thank the people of the country".
6:06 pm: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Sunday that he hoped that India will continue to have good relations with Pakistan if former prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comes to power after the general elections there.
5:26 pm: The PML-N, which is set to form the next government in Pakistan, will frame a national policy to counter terrorism after consulting all political parties and stakeholders, a close associate of party chief Nawaz Sharif said.
4:45 pm: PML-N's Sheikh Muhammad Akram defeats Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi in Jhang, Punjab province.
3:15 pm: Projected result says PML-N secures most National Assembly seats with PTI as runner up.
2:45 pm: PTI wins 13 seats in K-P Assembly, say reports.
2:10 pm: PML-N dominates Punjab, PTI rule K-P, PPP hold Sindh, say reports.
1:48 pm: PML-N secures 10 seats in Punjab Assembly, say reports.
12:30 pm: Nawaz Sharif calls meeting of PML-N party leaders in Raiwind, say reports.
11:50 am: Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz Sharif wins from Lahore.
10:15 am: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweets, "Congratulations to Nawaz Sharif. I hope he is now able to live up to his commitment to restart his peace process interrupted in 1999."
9:20 am: Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf cries foul. Musharraf says the poll outcome would have been remarkably different had a level playing field been provided. "In the face of lawlessness and terrorist threats, it is noteworthy that the people of Pakistan came out in large numbers to exercise their right to vote. In the midst of celebration by victors, it is important to underscore that a level playing field was absent in this election. If the coordinated actions between a malicious judiciary and Taliban militants had not prevented former president Musharraf from participating in the elections and had not impeded other liberal and progressive voices in the country from openly canvassing, the election outcome would have been remarkably different," his statement read.
9:00 am: Nawaz Sharif says, "I declare victory of PML-N. People of Pakistan wanted a credible face and they have given mandate to us. Relationship with India is my top priority and will write a new chapter of peace and harmony in this region."
Nawaz Sharif was poised for a record third term as Pakistan's Prime Minister with his Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) party on Sunday taking an unassailable lead in parliamentary elections, which was welcomed by India with whom he pledged to restart the peace process. During the campaign, 63-year-old Sharif had vowed to revive the Indo-Pak peace process which was interrupted in 1999 by the then military ruler Parvez Musharraf who ousted him in a bloodless coup, jailed and exiled. He had started the peace process with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lost no time in congratulating Sharif for his "emphatic victory" in the elections and invited him to visit India at a mutually convenient time. According to state-run PTV, the unofficial results announced till late in the night showed that Sharif's PML (N) is leading with 118 seats of 272 parliamentary seats that went to the polls on Saturday. Sharif needs 137 seats for a majority.
According to trends, Sharif is likely to get 125 seats. Sharif may marginally fall short of absolute majority but will be able to make it up by getting the support of independent candidates and smaller rightist parties like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam which was ahead in 11 seats. Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), about which there was considerable hype, lagged behind bagging 32 seats. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which had a tally of 124 in the 2008 elections and ruled the country for five years with the support of the MQM and the Awami National Party, has clinched 32 seats.
The results showed Sharif's party virtually swept the polls in central and upper parts of Punjab while it also performed well in parts of southern Punjab. PTI almost demolished its opponents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. (PML-N) has also emerged as leading party in the Punjab Assembly. PPP seems to have maintained its dominance in interior Sindh, the state-tv said. Sharif is set to return to power at a time when Pakistan is facing several major challenges, including growing extremism, a strong Taliban presence in the country's northwest, rampant corruption, uneasy relations with the US ahead of the withdrawal of foreign forces from war-torn Afghanistan and an economy that has virtually been in free fall for the past few years.
Sharif served as premier during 1990-1993 and 1997-1999 but was ousted from office before he could complete his term once on corruption charges and later because of the coup led by Musharraf. Sharif won two seats both from Sargodha and Lahore while Imran Khan bagged three seats in the national assembly out of four he contested.
President Asif Ali Zardari's sister Faryal Talpur, Farooq Sattar, Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Sheikh Rashid, Fehmida Mirza, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Ahsan Iqbal and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq have also emerged successful. Among the towering leaders who were made to bite the dust include former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and former ministers Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, Ameer Muqam, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Khurshid Kasuri, Syed Samsam Bukhari, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Chaudhry Anwar Ali Cheema And Shakeel Awan, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Yasmin Rashid and Abrarul Haq, the PTV said.
The PML-N was returned to power at the national level after millions of Pakistanis braved Taliban threats and violence that claimed some 50 lives to vote in the landmark general elections that marked the first transition from one civilian government to another in the country's 66-year history, that has witnessed numerous military coups. Sharif proclaimed victory for the PML-N while addressing a group of jubilant supporters at his home in Lahore on Saturday night and asked people to pray that the final results would deliver an "absolute majority" for his party so that he would not have to lead a weak coalition.
PML-N supporters took to the streets in droves to celebrate the victory. Overwhelmed by the victory, they fired in the air at several places in Lahore, violating the Election Commission's code of conduct. Conceding defeat, Khan from his hospital bed said, "I have seen many ups and downs in my life. But I forget the pain of this defeat when I see the enthusiasm of the youngsters."
"I want to thank the electorate for coming out in such large numbers. This is significant for Pakistan. The people have decided that they will play a role in forming the future of Pakistan through their vote," 60-year-old Khan said. Analysts said it was possible that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, leading in 12 seats, could back Sharif in forming the government. To win a majority, a party or coalition would have to bag 137 of the 272 National Assembly seats for which polls were held.
Another 70 seats in the 342-member National Assembly are reserved for women and non-Muslims and will be allocated to parties according to their performance in polls.
(With additional information from PTI)