In Pakistan, results are coming in following an election closely fought between former cricket star Imran Khan and the party of Nawaz Sharif, who's been prime minister three times, but who's now in prison on corruption charges. The sound of fire crackers echoed in the night sky. He charged fraud and vowed not to accept the results, generating fears that disgruntled losers could delay the formation of the next government.
"We will sweep the elections", said Abdul Basit, a supporter of Khan's, who watched the results on a large TV screen.
Security sources say the bomber drove his motorcycle into a police vehicle in the western city of Quetta.
IS claimed responsibility for the explosion, according to a statement on the group's Amaq news agency.
Baluchistan, the province where Quetta is located, saw some of the worst violence during the election campaign. Another 400 were wounded. Another 400 people were injured in the attack, which was claimed by IS. Polling took place in the country's 85,307 polling stations, out of which 17,007 were declared as "highly sensitive". The Pakistani military denied interfering in politics.
Both Mr Khan and Mr Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, are running for Parliament from Lahore, and one or the other is likely to become prime minister.
Khan has been an outspoken critic of the US -led war in neighbouring Afghanistan as well as China's massive investment in Pakistan, which has racked up millions of dollars in debt to Beijing. Afterward, he appealed to Pakistanis to vote in huge numbers "to save future generations". In an unusual press conference early on Thursday, Chief Election Commissioner Muhammad Raza Khan congratulated the people of Pakistan for participating in the election process. Video images showed a smiling Khan with his ballot in front of him as he marked it.
Meanwhile, not surprisingly the election was marred by allegations of rigging by the major rival of Khan's PTI.
"Today what they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years..." "So far, we are controlling our supporters, but we won't be able to convince them to exercise restraint if the results were manipulated against our party". PML-N, on the other hand, is now ahead in 64 seats, and PPP in 38 seats.
Based on reporting of 47 per cent of polling stations, PTI is leading on 113 National Assembly seats, while the PML-N trails behind with 64 and the PPP-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) is at third spot with 43 seats.
As the clock wound down to the close of voting, dozens of women crowded the desk of an election official at a polling station located within the historic Delhi Gate in Lahore. Voting will continue until 6 p.m. local time.
"We have observed smooth polling and many of our recommendations seem to be implemented and the security situation seems improved".
One voter, a shopkeeper named Mr Raees Ahmed, said: "He could have easily lived in London, but he came for us, for democracy and for civilian supremacy". The PPP was leading on 73 seats in Sindh.
Pakistanis headed to the polls early Wednesday to elect a new government for the next five years, officials and local media reported. In 1974, Pakistan declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims.
The European Union Election Observation Mission on Wednesday said that it was quite satisfied with the arrangements made for the election.
With tensions already high, shooting broke out between supporters of rival parties in the northwestern city of Sawabi, leaving...
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