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Pakistan Votes to Elect New Prime Minister Polls opened in Pakistan to elect its third straight civilian government

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POLLS opened in Pakistan to elect its third straight civilian government after a campaign that witnessed militant violence and allegations of military remote control in choosing the next prime minister.

People of Pakistan are also hoping that a jinx will be broken this time: a prime minister completing a full tenure at the office.

The battle is mainly between former PM Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party.

Since the formation of Pakistan in 1947, its Army has ruled the country for most of its coup-ridden 71-year history and allegations of interference and manipulation by the military has clouded the poll exercise.

The military has strongly denied charges of its interference in the country’s politics.

Nearly 106 million Pakistanis are eligible to vote and elect their 272 lawmakers in what is being seen as a test for democracy and smooth transition of power in the nuclear-armed country.

Most analysts predict a hung parliament but local media reports suggest PTI’s Imran Khan has a clear edge over disgraced former PM Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N. Sharif is serving a 10-year jail sentence on charges of corruption.

Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also in the race and PPP is hoping that the 29-year-old Zardari will become the youngest PM of Pakistan.

The runup to the polls has been bloody with deadly militant attacks and suicide bombing taking many lives. Polling today has also seen violence with reports of blasts coming in.

#PakistanElections2018: AS IT HAPPENS

Quetta Blast: Toll Climbs as ISIL Claims Responsibility

Voter Turnout

Polling Issues

Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa Votes

Voting Begins

Violence

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif Votes

Daughters of Benazir Bhutto

Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed Votes

Pakistan’s Democratic History

Indian Pollster Predicts

-ENDS-

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