Pakistan Election 2024 Updates: Independents Lead Against PML-N, PPP I Race To The Finish

Provisional, unofficial and partial results slow to a crawl hours after voting ended with several complaints of slow compilation of results, allegations of riggings, of candidates expelled from polling stations and attacks by candidates

Pakistan Election 2024 Updates: Independents Lead Against PML-N, PPP I Race To The Finish

Pakistan went to the polls on Thursday to elect a new government to take power for the next five years in the nuclear-armed country that is home to 241 million people. 

Voting commenced at 8am across the country at 90,675 polling stations with 276,398 booths. Some 1.4 million election staff have been deployed at these polling stations.

Voting continued uninterrupted until 5 pm.

Attention has now turned towards the compilation of results at polling stations across the country and the provisional, official results start coming in from the Election Commission after substantial delays of over 12 hours from the 1am deadline set.

Watch the post voting transmission from Naya Daur below:

Each of the 128 million eligible voters will cast two votes on separate ballot papers. One will be for electing their representative to the national assembly and one in the provincial assembly. The two ballot papers are distinct in colour to separate them.

National Assembly

Province General Seats Women Total
Balochistan 16 4 20
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 45 10 55
Punjab 141 32 173
Sindh 61 14 75
Islamabad 3 - 3
Total 266 60 336 (+10 for minorities)

They will directly vote for candidates on 266 national assembly and 593 provincial assembly general seats. 

Provincial Assemblies

Province General Seats Women Non-Muslim Total
Balochistan 51 11 3 65
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 115 26 4 145
Punjab 297 66 8 371
Sindh 130 29 9 168
Total 593 132 24 749

A further 70 reserved seats (60 for women and 10 for minorities) will be distributed among the winning parties based on the proportion of general seats they secure during the elections for the national assembly.

At the provincial level, this translates to 132 seats for women and 24 for minorities across the four provinces.

Voters will choose from 5,121 candidates who are contesting for the federal legislature and 12,695 for the provinces. As many as 167 registered political parties are contesting the elections along with hundreds of independent candidates.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which lost its party symbol for failure to hold intra-party elections per its own rules in early January, has also fielded its candidates as independents.

Of the 5,121 candidates contesting elections for the national assembly, 4,806 are men, 312 are women, and two are transgender. 

To form a government, a party must show a simple majority in the 336-member lower house of parliament. To do so, it must demonstrate backing from 169 members elected to the house in a vote. A similar process is followed in each of the four provincial legislatures.

Security is a concern going into Thursday's polls, with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declaring around half of the 90,675 polling stations in the country as 'sensitive' or 'most sensitive.' The ECP declared 27,628 polling stations as 'sensitive' and 18,437 as 'most sensitive'. In Punjab, 12,580 polling stations have been declared as 'sensitive' and 6,040 as 'most sensitive' and 32,324 poll stations as normal." In Sindh, 6,545 polling stations have been declared 'sensitive' and 6,524 'most sensitive'. Sindh's 5,937 polling stations have been declared normal. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 6,166 polling stations have been declared 'sensitive' and 4,143 polling stations 'most sensitive'. In comparison, KP's 5,388 polling stations have been declared normal. In Balochistan, 961 polling stations have been declared normal, while 2,337 as 'sensitive and 1,730 as 'most sensitive.'

Moreover, the ECP has announced that it will deploy nearly 600,000 security personnel to ensure security at polling stations.

It has deployed over 465,000 police personnel at polling stations to maintain law and order during the election process. Additionally, some 130,000 soldiers from the army have also been deployed, including 106,942 kept as a "quick response force" to respond to emerging issues and 23,940 security personnel on permanent duty. 

Follow along for our live coverage of the day's events, followed by key results.

L I V E   U P D A T E S

Latest election results

Independents lead in National Assembly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Independents are leading the way in the national assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly elections.

Among the provisional results for 220 seats announced by the ECP thus far for the national assembly, independents - including those backed by the PTI - have won 90.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's hopes of attaining simple majority were dashed after it could only secure 62 seats. 

The PPP, which won big in Sindh with some 40 seats in the province, managed to secure 50 seats from across the province. 

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan won 11 seats while the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) — created from a forward block of disgruntled PTI members — won two seats.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam won two seats and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) won two seats. 

The Pashtoonkhwa National Awami Party won a seat as well. The Balochistan National Party (BNP) had won NA-261. 

In Punjab, independents and the PML-N were neck and neck with 123 seats each. The PPP had bagged 10 provincial assembly seats. PML-Q took home five seats while IPP and TLP took a seat each. Results for 20 seats are awaited which could break the deadlock.

In Sindh, the PPP bagged 83 seats. These were sufficient to make a government with simple majority in the 168-member house.

The MQM bagged 21 seats while independents secured 14 seats. The anti-PPP Grand Democratic Alliance was trounced and could only muster two seats. Jamaat-i-Islami also won two seats.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, independent candidates - most of whom were backed by the PTI - secured 85 seats in the 145-member house. With results of eight seats yet to be announced, it appears independents could form a government with two-thirds majority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Meanwhile, PML-N secured five seats, JUI-F seven seats, Jamaat-i-Islami three seats, PPP three seats, and one each went to the Awami National Party and the PTI splinter group, PTI-Parliamentarians.

IN Balochistan, results of 35 of the 51 seats showed the PML-N and the PPP neck and neck with eight seats each. 

The JUI-F had six seats while independents had bagged four seats. The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has also bagged four seats while the Awami National Party secured two seats.

Balochistan National Party-Awami, Jamaat-i-Islami and National Party have all secured one seat each.

Lahore High Court stays release of results for NA-128

Salman Akram Raja, the lawyer of erstwhile Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, and a PTI-backed candidate for NA-128 has successfully obtained a stay order from the Lahore High Court against release of results.

Raja had approached the LHC complaining that the results had been consolidated without him present and were thus unacceptable. 

The court summoned the relevant returning officer to the court as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) argued that as per the law, the case should not be heard by the court as a candidate must first challenge results before the commission after Form 47 is released - where the complainant had lost.

Raja's lawyer, however argued that they are not asking for a recount of votes rather it was about observance of consolidation of the results in the presence of the candidate and that they have challenged the RO's order.

Subsequently, the court accepted Raja's petition for hearing and decided to stop the notification of results from the constituency and ordered the RO to hold open re-consolidation of the results. 

Further proceedings were adjourned until February 12 and notices were issued to all parties.

24 hours since polls closed, results of many stations yet to be released

Over 24 hours after polls closed in the 12th general elections in Pakistan, results of many constituencies have yet to be officially released.

The situation thus far shows that in the National Assembly, where more than half of the results have been released, the independents are in the lead over parties such as the PML-N and the PPP.

The independents, many of whom were backed by the PTI — which competed the elections without a dedicated party symbol — have so far secured 61 seats.

PML-N has secured 43 seats while the PPPP has 38 seats.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has four seats and the JUI-F, PML-Q, BNP and JWP have one seat each.

Fact-Check: Did Nawaz Win Or Lose NA-15?

In the first major controversial result, a conflict has emerged between the results announced for NA-15 Mansehra, which former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Supremo Nawaz Sharif was contesting.

Read the full story here.

PPP heading towards clean sweep in Sindh

The PPP is heading towards a sweep in most parts of Sindh on provincial assembly seats.

In Sujawal, a one-sided contest was seen with PPP candidate for PS-73, Syed Shah Hussain Shah Sheerazi routing his opponent, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate, with a decisive lead of 66,000 votes. 

Sheerazi secured 72,942 votes at 178 polling stations in the constituency, while Muhammad Ismail Memon ended up with 6,167 votes. 

It is pertinent to mention that Sheerazi has completed a hat-trick of victories while contesting elections in this constituency. He won the seat in the 2013 general elections, followed it up with another victory in 2018, and has now won it for a third time. 

Another PPP candidate from Sujawal, Muhammad Ali Malkani, has also won his seat by a heavy margin.

In Badin, the Mirza family and the Grand Democratic Alliance have suffered a humbling defeat.

All seven candidates of the PPP scored convincing victories over their opponents from the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) across the Badin district.  

Provisional results issued by district returning officer Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur won on NA-222 by a huge margin against his rival Mir Hussain Bux Talpur of GDA. 

On NA-223, Rasool Bax Chandio of PPP beat Mohammad Hassam Mirza of GDA by securing 115,681 votes to Mirza's 79,152 votes. Zulfiqar Ali Mirza, who was contesting as an independent, could only secure 675 votes. Fehmida Mirza only secured 2,480 votes.

Some 12,653 votes were rejected for being incorrectly cast.

Dada Mohammad Halepoto,  Mir Allah Bux Talpur, Arbab Ameer Amanullah, Taj Mohammad Mallah and Mohammad Ismail Rahu won all five provincial seats. Mansoor Ali Khan Nizamani, Dr Abdulllah Talpur, Barrister Hasnain Mirza, Mohammad Hassam Mirza and Ameer Azad Panhwar of GDA lost.

NA-6: JI Chief Siraj ul Haq Loses To PTI-Backed Independent Candidate Muhammad Bashir

Jamaat-e-Islami's (JI) chief Siraj ul Haq was defeated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidate Muhammad Bashir Khan by more than 20,000 votes in the NA-6 (Lower Dir-I) constituency.

Read the full story here.

Qaisara Elahi loses to Chaudhry Salik

Qaisara Elahi, the wife of former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi lost elections in NA-64 Gujrat to Chaudhry Salik Hussain.

Hussain, who is the son of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chauhdry Shujaat Hussain, secured 105,205 votes.

Qaisara Elahi, who was backed by the PTI, could only muster 80,946 votes.

TLP's Chaudhry Abdul Kareem was third with 20,445 votes.

PTI-backed Ayaz Amir loses in NA-58 Chakwal

The PTI-backed Ayaz Amir lost elections in NA-58 in Chakwal to PML-N's Maj (retired) Tahir Iqbal.

According to the final results issued by the ECP, Maj (retired) Iqbal secured 115,974 votes in the constituency.

Ayaz Amir, who was contesting as an independent candidate, secured 102,537 votes.

PPP's Zulfiqar Ali Khan secured 74,300 votes to stand third in the constituency. 

TLP's 45,238 Raja Sohail Satti was fourth with 45,238 votes.

The constituency had a turnout of 62.05%, with 368,568 votes cast.

Shehbaz Sharif Wins, Aimal Wali Khan Loses

The provisional but official results were still trickling in on Friday morning, over 24 hours after voting began in the 12th general elections in Pakistan. 

Among the results available, former prime minister and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has won elections to the national assembly in NA-123 Lahore.

Shehbaz secured 63,953 votes compared to his closest rival, Inam Azeem, who secured 48,486 votes. 

Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan's Amjad Naeem was third with 20,156 votes.

The turnout in the constituency was 47.08%, with 155,642 votes cast.

Awami National Party's provincial chief, Aimal Wali Khan, lost elections in Charsadda.

Aimal had been contesting the polls in NA-25, where he secured 67,876 votes.

However, he was beaten by the independent candidate Fazal Muhammad Khan, who secured 100,713 votes. The PTI backed Fazal in the constituency.

JUI-F's Maulana Muhammad Gohar Shah was third with 32,871 votes.

The PTI splinter group, the PTI-Parliamentarian candidate in the district, Falak Niaz, only secured 533 votes.

Jamaat-e-Islami's Musawir Shah Durrani could only muster 8,479 votes. 

Slow processing of results draws CEC's wrath

The slow processing of results by returning officers has drawn the ire of the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, who has issued a warning to election staff to immediately issue election results or face action.

In unofficial results, PPP bag seats, PML-N in the lead

In some of the first complete unofficial results, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has bagged at least two seats in the National Assembly from Sindh apart from winning seats in the provincial assembly.

In PS-74 Sujawal-II, PPP's Muhammad Ali Malkani secured a landslide victory. He secured 66,013  votes from the 135 polling stations in the constituency. This was 56,000 more votes than his nearest competitor, independent candidate Abdul Sattar Kehar who could only muster 10,425 votes.

This is Malkani's fourth consecutive victory in this area. Meanwhile, the PPP candidate for NA-224 Sujawal, Syed Ayaz Shah Sheerazi, is also in the driving seat.

In Thatta, PPP's Sadiq Ali Memon won after securing 55,540 votes. His competitor, PML-N's Raees Rasool Bux Jakhro could only muster 12,520 votes. 

PPP also won big in Khairpur where party stalwart Nafeesa Shah trounced her opponent, Syed Ghous Ali Shah of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). Nafeesa bagged a whopping 140,204 votes while Ghous could only muster 50,302 votes.

Rigging allegations

There were allegations of rigging levelled by candidates in different parts of the country pointing towards the involvement of election staff or security staff.

In NA-40 North Waziristan, National Democratic Movement (NDM) chief Mohsin Dawar alleged that the presiding officer was brazenly stuffing votes in ballot boxes for the PTI-backed candidate Aurangzeb Khan.

In Balochistan, Balochistan National Party (BNP) President Nawab Akhtar Mengal shared a copy of a hand-written letter allegedly written by the presiding officer of a polling station in PB-45 and NA-264 wherein he claimed that the local police station head had allegedly stolen some 900 ballot papers.

Cut cellular signals leave Sujawal's female voters stranded

The government's decision to suspend cellular services across the country on election day only disenfranchised millions of voters who were left clueless about their polling stations or coordinate travel to polling stations. Candidates and political parties, some of whom complained in writing, lost touch with their workers and supporters, impacting turnout.

Read the full story here.

PTI backed Salman Akram Raja, contesting the election from NA128, complains of being "illegally evicted" from the RO's office in "suspicious incident"

Lawyer Salman Akram Raja, who is a PTI backed candidate in Lahore's NA128 has complained of being evicted from the Returning Officer's office, and demands that the count should not proceed in his absence.

Ayaz Latif Palijo accuses opponent from PPP of attacking polling agents

Qaumi Awami Tehreek Chief Ayaz Latif Palijo has accused his opponent in PS-60 Hyderabad of attacking his polling agents, holding female polling agents against their will while attempting to rig the elections.

Read full story here.

Polling ends across Pakistan

Polling in Pakistan's 12th general elections came to a close across the country as the clock struck 5pm

Read more about it here.

Peoples Party candidates break into polling station in Karachi

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhail allegedly stormed a polling station in NA-242-Keamari-I Karachi. He and is supporters can be seen on video making his way to the polling booths and smashing the ballot boxes.

Amnesty International terms cellular network and internet shutdown a "reckless attack on people’s rights"

As authorities have shut down cellular networks and the internet over security concerns on Election Day, Amnesty International's Interim Deputy Director for South Asia Livia Saccardi has released a statement, criticizing the decision to suspend cellular and internet service.

"It is reckless to impede access to information as people head out to polling stations on the heels of devastating bomb blasts and what has been an intense crackdown on the opposition in the lead up to the elections in the country."

PTI's Maj Tahir Sadik Claims Their Polling Agents Have Been Abducted In Attock

Major (retired) Tahir Sadik, a candidate for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from NA-49 Attock in a video statement claimed all their polling agents from the constituency have been 'abducted'.

He added that they have received similar reports from neighbouring NA-50 and NA-51, as he urged the people to go out and vote to foil any plans targetting their party.

Maryam Nawaz Casts Vote 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz cast her vote in Lahore on Thursday.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asif Ali Zardari and Aseefa Zardari cast votes

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari cast his vote in Larkana on Thursday while former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari cast his vote in Shaheed Benazirabad.

Earlier, Aseefa had cast her vote in Shaheed Benazirabad.

Mohsin Dawar claims TTP has taken over polling stations in N Waziristan

National Democratic Movement (NDM) chief and candidate from NA-40 North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar on Thursday afternoon claimed that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had allegedly taken over polling stations while three of his female polling agents had earlier escaped attacks from the Taliban.

Dawar said that he as formally written to the ECP raising the security issue in Tappi village.

The three polling stations taken over include the Government Middle School Wresham Jan Kot, GHS Tappi, and GPS Awal Khan Kot - a combined polling station for 1,172 men and 697 women.

President Arif Alvi casts his vote

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi cast his vote for the general elections in Karachi on Thursday along with family members.

He stated that it was the religious, constitutional and civic duty of each registered voter to vote and urged the people to vote.

PPP demands reopening of cellular networks

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has formally demanded the reopening of cellular networks in the country. 

PPP General Secretary Taj Haider wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner, urging him to reopen cellular networks as it was impacting the elections. He said that voters are unable to access critical information relating to their polling stations and coordinating the necessary logistics. Moreover, the party was facing a difficulty in mobilising voters.

Earlier, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated that the cellular networks must be opened immediately and had directed his party to approach the ECP and the courts.

Levies forces attacked in Balochistan's Kharan

A squad of Levies Forces in Balochistan suffered a bomb attack on Thursday leaving at least two personnel dead and six others injured.

An official of the Levies Forces confirmed to BBC Urdu that one of the martyred official was of the Levies while the other was affiliated with the Special Branch.

The dead and injured have been shifted to a hospital for medical treatment.

Cellular services and internet suspended 'temporarily' in the country 

The government on Thursday 'temporarily disrupted' cellular and internet services across the country citing security concerns.

Read the full story here.

Former MNA and candidate from NA-40 North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar says a bomb attack targeted their female polling agents in Tappi area. They narrowly missed the blast.

He said he had written to the district returning officer to change the polling station after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a letter threatening people against voting for Dawar and warning of attacks. The TTP later distanced itself from a pamphlet distributed in Tappi village.

Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has cast his vote in Lahore.

Former federal information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb cast her vote in Murree despite snow.