Musharraf-Allied, Former Ruling Party Faces Major Losses
People’s Party and Muslim-League Nawaz Lead Nationally
Awami National Party Ahead in NWFP
Shujaat Hussain, Sheikh Rashid, and Amir Hussain Defeated
Polls officially opened in Pakistan at 8AM local time (10PM, Sunday in New York) and will close at 5PM (7AM, New York). The opening was delayed in many locations due to technical reasons or disputes over electoral rolls.
11:42AM (Islamabad)/01:43AM (New York): Turnout is reportedly low. But it’s early in the morning.
11:54AM (Islamabad)/01:55AM (New York): Blasts reported at three polling stations in Quetta. Hand grenades and other explosive material used. No one killed; two arrested.
12:07PM (Islamabad)/02:07 AM (New York): AAJ Television reports turnout is fairly high in Rawalpindi, but low in Lahore, perhaps due to recent terror attacks.
12:24PM (Islamabad)/02:24 AM (New York): High turnout in Sukkur, but some women going back home because of long lines. Turnout in Peshawar fairly low. Recent terror attacks there.
01:25PM (Islamabad)/03:25 AM (New York): DawnNews reports that militants have kidnapped polling agents in Bannu, NWFP (NA-26).
01:59PM (Islamabad)/03:59 AM (New York): GEO reports strong turnout in Nawabshah, Sindh. Pace should pick up somewhat elsewhere in the country into the afternoon as the temperature rises.
05:30PM (Islamabad)/07:30 AM (New York): Polling was to end at 5PM across the country, but seems to have been extended in some districts to encourage those that haven’t voted. Official results from some districts are coming in but very incomplete (e.g. 1/242 polling stations).
05:45PM (Islamabad)/07:45 AM (New York):
Turnout in previous Pakistan National Assembly elections:
- 43.07% (1998)
- 45.46% (1990)
- 40.28% (1993)
- 35.42 (1997)
- 41.8% (2002)
05:51PM (Islamabad)/07:51AM (New York): Suggestions of low turnout in Lahore. Could be high in Sindh, excluding Karachi and Hyderabad. If true, could fare well for PPP and not for PML-N.
06:01PM (Islamabad)/08:01AM (New York): Kamran Khan of GEO says the very preliminary results indicate the PPP ahead nationally with the PML-Q and PML-N nearly tied for second. In the NWFP, the ANP is doing better than in 2002. But the results coming in seem to be less than 1% per district.
06:01PM (Islamabad)/08:01AM (New York): Afrasiyab Khattak of the ANP seems pretty content with the elections proceedings, an indication of positive results for his party. Referred to turnout in NWFP as “slow, but steady.”
06:19PM (Islamabad)/08:19AM (New York): Pervez Musharraf said earlier today on the government-run PTV (in English) after casting his vote, “whoever [wins], I strongly believe that this politics of confrontation must give way to the politics of reconciliation….I myself with remain committed to a politics of reconciliation with everyone. Whoever is the winner, let them form government, let them run the government for five years, let them ensure the continuity of economic sustainability of this economic upsurge and let us continue to fight this scourge of terrorism more strongly beyond today’s elections.”
Order of PTV News Coverage: President Pervez Musharraf, Musharraf’s Wife and Mother, Interim Prime Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro, PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain, PML-Q Central Leader Pervez Ellahi, PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and PPP-S Chairman Aftab Sherpao. According to the Center for Civic Education, the PML-Q received more coverage on state-run television than the PPP and PML-N combined. The PML-Q also spent more on advertising than all other parties combined.
06:53PM (Islamabad)/08:53AM (New York): An analyst on the government-run PTV says that “in a hung parliament, Pakistan’s masses will be stronger.”
08:01PM (Islamabad)/10:01AM (New York): Official election results could be in at 9PM Islamabad/11AM New York.
08:48PM (Islamabad)/10:48AM (New York): The New York Times states turnout in the NWFP was around 20%.
08:58PM (Islamabad)/10:58AM (New York): First complete result is in: Yaqoob Bizenjo of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) wins in NA-272 — ironic, no? He defeats Zubaida Jalal, an independent formerly with the PML-Q, and four other opponents.
09:00PM (Islamabad)/11:00AM (New York): Najmuddin Khan of the PPP wins in NA-33.
09:40PM (Islamabad)/11:40AM (New York): Maulana Fazlur Rahman is losing by a wide margin in NA-24, but NA-26 seems like a safe seat for him.
10:32PM (Islamabad)/12:32PM (New York): The overall trends are leaning toward a strong showing for the PML-N in urban Punjab, the PPP in Sindh (outside of Karachi and Hyderabad), and the ANP in NWFP.
10:49PM (Islamabad)/12:49PM (New York): A GEO analyst makes an excellent point — the data could have an urban bias. Necessary to wait and see how the PML-Q does in rural Punjab where it has focused its campaigning.
Tuesday – 01:15AM (Islamabad)/Monday – 03:15PM (New York): Chaudhry Shujaat loses to Ahmed Mukhtar in hometown of Gujrat/NA-105.
01:44AM (Islamabad)/Monday – 03:44PM (New York): Aaj TV: PPP surge in southern Punjab?
02:19AM (Islamabad)/Monday – 04:19PM (New York): More PML-Q losses: Former National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain and Danyal Aziz.