Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Pakistan polls: Former cricketers turn to support Imran Khan

Suicide bomb kills election candidate, driver in Pakistan In election-charged Pakistan, Mahathir makes an 'appearance'
Sergio Cook | 24 July, 2018, 21:27

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 3,459 candidates are contesting from 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while 8,396 candidates are running for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies.

Pakistan's elections have been fraught with tension since former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was found guilty on charges that he and his family hid unreported income in luxury apartments in London and other offshore properties - a case Sharif's supporters allege was orchestrated by the country's military to oust the prime minister.

PMLN candidates claim they have been ordered to defect from the party amid a systematic campaign of intimidation by agents of Pakistan's "deep state".

Former Pakistani cricket stars have come out in support of cricketer-turned-politician and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan as the country prepares to go to the polls on Wednesday.

Khan, however, is wary of governing with the established parties.

The leading among them are Mumbai-terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led banned Jamat-ud Dawah's candidates who are fighting with an aim to make Pakistan a "citadel of Islam". "Behind you skipper", Younis said in at tweet. A further 70 seats for women and minorities are awarded proportionally based on the voting percentages. After the results, 27 winning independent candidates joined Sharif's party to give it a majority.

The incumbent PML-N is expected to lose ground to the PTI in Punjab province, where more than half of the 272 directly elected seats are located.

Suicide bomb kills election candidate, driver in Pakistan
Why India-Pakistan relations are unlikely to improve if Imran Khan becomes Pakistan's next prime minister

Two new hard-right Islamist parties also may cut into the PML-N's conservative voter base. He said the elder Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz, were arrested and were not even allowed to meet Sharif's mother.

"It is not easy to predict which party will form the government". He said he sat there for five hours but was not heard.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed, a PML-N senator, said the party had delivered on promises to reduce electricity shortages and improve infrastructure.

He is the son of two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.

However in another poll, Sharif's party tops another poll with 26 percent compared to 25 percent for Khan's PTI.

This was the second attack on Durrani in the last two weeks.

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