Islamabad, Jul 26 (AP/UNB) — Vote counting in an election marred by allegations of fraud and militant violence has been tediously slow, yet from the outset cricket star Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have maintained a commanding lead.
Election officials say it will be Thursday evening local time before an official count confirms Pakistan's next government. But before even half the votes were counted, Khan's leading rival, Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League, the party of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, rejected the vote, generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next government.
The winner will face a crumbling economy and bloodshed by militants. More than 11,000 candidates vied for 270 seats in the National Assembly, and 577 seats in four provincial assemblies.