Party of Pakistan's jailed ex-PM rejects election results, alleges rigging

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Citing security concerns, Pakistan's election commission announced that internet and cellphone services in several Baluchistan districts have been suspended.

Voting began at 8 am (local time), during which most of Pakistan's almost 106 million people came out to cast their votes.

Violence has marred the election campaign with claims more than 170 have died in various related incidents.

Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk and Chief Election Commissioner congratulated the nation on successful conduct of General Elections-2018.

Supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-N party wave party flags during an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on July 23.

In Sindh province, the Pakistan Peoples' Party seemed likely to do well in its home base, while in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, voters seemed divided among Mr Khan's party, which has controlled the provincial government for four years, and the Awami National Party, which is based on ethnic Pashtun nationalism.

While filing this report, the PTI is leading in 90 seats.

The third major party in the race, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), also raised alarms over the counting process on Thursday.

The Pakistan People's Party is also expected to pick up seats as is the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of right wing religious parties. Similarly, in NA-52 (Islamabad-I), PML-N candidate Tariq Fazal Chaudhary lost to PTI's Raja Khurram, Chaudhary was regularly elected to National Assembly since 2008. In this scenario, the PTI is likely to form a coalition government. The PTI and ruling PML-N are thought to be neck and neck in the elections.

PML-N was leading on 67 seats and PPP on 39.

The first voter to enter a polling station in the eastern city of Lahore was a woman, business executive Maryum Arif, who told AFP she planned to vote for the PML-N as "it has served Pakistan".

Boys have more tightly knit band of friends than girls Study
Boys have more tightly knit band of friends than girls Study

But other voters in Lahore, capital of Punjab and traditionally a PML-N stronghold, said they were abandoning the party in favour of PTI.

Around 370,000 troops have been station at polling stations.

Yaqoob asked all parties to approach the commission with specific complaints against ROs as well as the polling stations where irregularities are allegedly occurring. In the past polling stations closed at 5 pm. "They will make a lethal combination if they joined hands against Imran Khan", analyst Sohail Warriach said.

But the PML-N was dealt several blows in the run-up to the polls.

"Political leaders should refrain from levelling such baseless allegations without having any substantial proof", the ECP official said.

Khan violated the code of conduct established by Pakistan's election commission: He cast his vote in front of the cameras and the polling agent, while he was supposed to do so in secrecy behind an allocated box. However, 400 foreign observers from different countries will also monitor Pakistan Election 2018. He asserted that supremacy of law and the constitution would be maintained in the country at any cost.

"Thank you fellow Pakistanis".

"We will fight this injustice and use all options", he said, adding that there has been a "blatant violation" of the mandate.

Pakistan has a population of almost 200 million, and is a nuclear-armed rival to India, a key developing economy and one of the world's largest Muslim-majority nations. He is on the record saying things like "America is destroying Pakistan" and will likely seek to reduce Pakistan-US cooperation, already troubled to begin with.

Personnel of security forces across the country played a significant role to maintain peace in the most sensitive polling stations.

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