Supporters of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party have protested in several parts of the country as vote counting continues a day after the polls.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) supporters blocked roads and held street demonstrations on Friday in protest against the Pakistan Election Commission’s delay in announcing the results of Thursday’s parliamentary election.
Independent candidates backed by the PTI and Khan – who is currently imprisoned – were leading in early national election results, in a vote marred by sporadic violence, allegations of a preordained outcome, and the suspension of mobile phone services.
Of the 156 National Assembly results announced by the country’s election oversight body after an hours-long delay, candidates backed by the PTI had won 59 seats.
The Pakistan Muslim League party (PMLN) of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had 46 seats, while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had 39.
Final results were expected by Friday night.
But discrepancies with early results in some districts have caused concern and confusion.
“We voted even though it turned out to be a selection like the last time,” Asif Qureshi, a 55-year-old voter, told Al Jazeera.
“We are in a digital age and yet, we aren’t aware of the results nearly 24 hours after the polls. Their excuse is that the internet was down, but they were the ones who suspended it.
“We went to sleep thinking PTI candidates are in front. Now, we are being told they aren’t. Why waste so much money? Just name the ones they have selected to be the winners, then.”