12 May 2013, 10:15

Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif poised to lead again

Пакистан выборы парламент голосование Наваз Шариф
Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif took a strong lead over his rivals in Pakistan's general elections, preliminary results showed Sunday.

Private Geo News television reported that Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was leading in 126 out of the 268 contested parliamentary seats. 

Dunya News channel said PML-N had already won 80 seats. State-run Pakistan Television also put it as the frontrunner. 

Unofficial preliminary results showed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of former cricket star Imran Khan coming in second place. 

Former ruling Pakistan People's Party of President Asif Ali Zardari was trailing behind. 

Right-wing religious parties failed to make significant gains. 

Electoral officials said the turnout was about 60 per cent of the 86 million eligible voters, one of the highest ever. The general elections in 2008 drew a 44-per-cent turnout. 

The election marks the first-ever democratic transition from one civilian government to another.

Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif elected to parliament in Pakistan

Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the frontrunner in the country's landmark elections, was on Saturday elected to parliament in a town in his Punjab heartland, his party spokesman said.

"Nawaz Sharif has won his seat from a constituency in Sargodha," Pakistan Muslim League-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq told AFP by telephone.

At PML-N headquarters in the eastern city of Lahore about 300 to 400 supporters who were watching the results coming in on television let out a huge cheer when Sharif's win was announced.

Sharif served as prime minister from 1990-93, when he was sacked for corruption, and from 1997-99, when he was deposed by the military, although his family say he is a changed man who will this time govern more successfully.

Meanwhile, Pakistani cricket star turned politician Imran Khan was Saturday elected into parliament in the northwestern city of Peshawar, where his main opponent conceded defeat.

"People have expressed confidence in Imran Khan and have rejected us," former cabinet minister and senior Awami National Party (ANP) member Ghulam Bilour told private Express TV. The seat in Peshawar was one of four that Khan contested.

"I congratulate him," Bilour told the TV channel. The secular ANP led the outgoing government in northwestern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"People wanted change and I think what has happened was correct. Now it is up to us to think why people have rejected us," Bilour said.

Khan's center-right Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is looking to make a breakthrough into national politics at Saturday's polls. It boycotted the last elections in 2008 and won only one seat, for Khan, in 2002. 

Pakistani elections may be bloodiest in its history

Four terrorist attack in Pakistan, where parliamentary elections were held, claimed the lives of 14 people, more than 50 people were injured.

Three explosions occurred in the southern city of Karachi and one to the north-west of Peshawar.

The first two were carried out in the south by suicide bombers just hours after the start of voting. Their targets were candidates and their supporters.

In Peshawar, the explosion occurred at a polling station for women.

A fourth bomb exploded near a polling station in one of the outlying areas of Karachi.

According to preliminary data, during the country's election campaign, as a result of terrorist attacks, about 130 people were killed.

This election may go down in history not only as the first democratic one in Pakistan but also as the bloodiest in the history of the country.

The leader of the Pakistan Muslim League and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has declared victory.

The counting of votes continues.

Voice of Russia, dpa, RIA, AFP, Reuters

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