Sharif predicted to win Pakistan election
Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N), is on the verge of an historic election victory after projections from Saturday’s voting indicated his party would take at least 100 of the 270 directly contested seats.
The election victory would signify a remarkable turnaround for Sharif considering the former Prime Minister of Pakistan was ousted in a military coup led by Pervez Musharraf in 1999 and had been in exile in Saudi Arabia until 2007.
Voter turnout for the 2013 election has been reportedly high with official estimates at around 60% on Saturday 11th May. Furthermore, reports from Pakistan suggest that this year’s election looks set to go down in history for being the first Pakistani election where power has been successfully and democratically passed from one government to another.
Sharif looks to have easily held off the challenge by former-cricketer Imran Khan and his Terhreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) who had been tipped to mount a major campaign largely targeting the youth vote.
The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has taken a hammering at the polls with voters showing their disdain after five turbulent years in office.
However, Saturday’s voting saw at least 22 people killed in election-related violence and there was also some suggestion of vote-rigging in Karachi by the incumbent Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM). Despite this, the election is being heralded as a relative success.
Sharif addressed his supporters on Saturday night in Lahore saying “For the sake of the nation…and in order to end this wretched load-shedding, unemployment, poverty and inflation I want to ask the opponents to come and sit with us.”