Independent candidates linked to jailed former prime minister Imran Khan were leading the count in Pakistan’s election, local TV channels said Friday.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was barred from contesting Thursday’s election as a bloc, but unofficial tallies by local TV channels showed independent candidates — including dozens anointed by his party — leading in the most constituencies.
The first official result — the seat going to a PTI candidate — was announced shortly after 4:30 am (2330 GMT) more than 11 hours after polling ended.
The TV stations were basing their projections on counting done at the local constituency level.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had been expected to win the most seats following Thursday’s vote, with analysts saying its 74-year-old founder Nawaz Sharif had the blessing of the military-led establishment.
But local TV channels said the party had performed poorly –- with Sharif trailing his opponent in one of the constituencies he contested.