Imran Khan (Xinhua photo)
ISLAMABAD, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf party (PTI) of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is leading in the country's general elections, according to initial results received by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) here on Thursday.
Pakistan held general elections on Wednesday to elect the members of the National Assembly, the lower house of the country's parliament, and members of four provincial assemblies.
The ECP said the results received so far showed that the PTI has won 55 seats of the National Assembly, well ahead of its rivals -- the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The PML-N of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is emerging as the second largest party with 14 seats followed by six seats of PPP led by former President Asif Zardari.
The PTI has won all three seats of the capital Islamabad. Chairman of the PTI Imran Khan, who was personally contesting for five seats at the lower house, has won three seats and is waiting for the outcome of the rest where he is also in a leading position.
According to the initial results, former Prime Ministers Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Yousuf Raza Gillani, former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, and chief of religious parties' alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Fazal ur Rehman have lost the elections.
The ECP has received the results of about 48 percent of the total 85,000 polling stations.
The PTI is ahead mostly in Punjab, the country's most populated province and also the stronghold of the PML-N, and in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The trend shows that the PTI might not get a simple majority in the lower house, so it will need the support of independent victorious candidates and other small parties to get a majority and to form the government in the center.
The election body said it will announce the final party position after receiving the complete vote count.
Out of 272 seats of the 342-member National Assembly, elections were held in 270 constituencies as two National Assembly seats remained uncontested due to death and disqualification of the candidates.
Pakistan's lower house has a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected by the people, whereas 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities. The reserved will be allocated to the political parties according to their proportional representation in the house.
The country's law binds the ECP to finalize results within 10 hours after the polling is concluded, but the outcome of the results slowed down due to the failure of the Result Transfer System (RTS). The RTS is an online software designated to transfer the votes' counting from polling stations to the election headquarters.
Following the technological glitch in the system, the ECP directed all the polling officers to transfer the results to district control rooms manually. However, the rainy season and polling stations being in far-flung areas caused further delay to compile the final results.