Pakistan election official says ‘no conspiracy’ in delayed vote results

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities said this morning full results of a general election would be delayed as cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan led in a partial count that opponents said was rigged.

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary Babar Yaqoob said told reporters early on Thursday counting had been delayed by technical failures in an electronic reporting system and the tallying was now being conducted manually. The results had been due by 2 a.m. (2100 GMT).

“There’s no conspiracy, nor any pressure in delay of the results. The delay is being caused because the result transmission system has collapsed,” Yaqoob said.

He said he could not set an exact deadline when the full results would be released but it would be as soon as possible.

Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Mohammad Raza later defended the process after Sharif’s party and at least four others contesting the elections alleged the counting was manipulated.

“These elections were 100 percent transparent and fair,” Raza said. “There is no stain. Why don’t you think the five political parties might be wrong?”

With 30 percent of the total vote counted, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Movement for Justice, was listed by the ECP as leading in 113 of 272 contested National Assembly constituencies.

Reuters