ANI Photo | PTI-backed independents leading in close race with PML-N, PPP, media reports show

As the counting for the Pakistan general elections progresses, the independent candidates backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) are leading with 73 seats in a tight contest with two major parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistani local media reported.
According to the unofficial results called by Geo News for 163 out of total 266 seats, PTI-backed independent candidates are leading on 73 seats, followed by PML-N on 48 and PPP on 35.
However, the provisional results have only been released for 72 seats by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Dawn reported.
As per ECP, PTI-baked independents are leading on 28 seats, followed by a tight contest between PML-N (19 seats) and PPP (18 seats).
Among major candidates, three-time former PM and front-runner Nawaz Sharif won from the NA-130 constituency in Lahore with 1,71,024 votes.
However, in a major surprise, he lost in the NA-15 constituency in Mansehra against PTI-backed independent Gustasap Khan, according to ARY News.
Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz won the NA-119 seat from Lahore. Former PM Shehbaz Sharif also won from the PP-158 seat in Lahore.
Among PPP leaders, former President Asif Ali Zardari and former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also won from their respective seats in NA-207 and NA-196.
Notably, Imran Khan was disqualified from contesting the elections due to criminal convictions. The electoral symbol of the PTI was also taken away by the ECP, in a ruling later backed by the Pakistan apex court. As a result, the PTI leaders and supporters contested as independent candidates, Dawn reported.
Local media outlets in Pakistan today started reporting the results of the polls conducted in the national and provincial assemblies that began at 8 am on February 8 and was conducted by 5 pm on the same day.
Pakistan’s Interior Ministry today said delay in election results, which was supposed to be out by Friday morning, was due to a “lack of connectivity,” which it stressed was the result of preventive measures taken to ensure foolproof security.

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