KARACHI, May 11,2013 (LUBNA JERAR NAQVI / UPI Next) — Polling has now ended in historic Pakistani elections, the first time since the nation’s 1947 independence in which a popularly elected government has submitted itself to a fresh round of polls.
Initial results suggest the Pakistan Muslim League, led by Nawaz Sharif, is ahead, with ex-cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Peoples Party, led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assassinated in 2007, close behind.
Polling had to be extended into Saturday evening to accommodate technical challenges in the face of a large voter turnout, and violent attacks attributed to the Pakistani Taliban, the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant group
“We have extended polling time till 8 p.m. in six national assembly and 14 provincial assembly seats in Karachi only,” Election Commission of Pakistan chief Ishtiaq Ahmad told a news conference late Saturday. Polling in the rest of the country wrapped up at 6 p.m. on Saturday.