Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pakistan's Ex PM Sharif stages comeback in landmark election

The landmark elections held in Pakistan on 11 May 2013 brought back party of Pakistan's twice prime minister Nawaz Sharif as single dominating party at the centre and the province of Punjab.

Toppled in a 1999 coup, jailed and exiled, Nawaz Sharif is now heading for a third term as Pakistan's prime minister.

The wealthy steel magnate from the pivotal Punjab province held off a challenge from former cricket star Imran Khan who had hoped to break decades of dominance by Sharif and the Pakistan People's Party led by the Bhutto family.

With the count continuing into the night, Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) was leading in 119 of the 272 National Assembly seats that were contested.

Cricketing hero Khan in the end did not have the momentum needed to trip up Sharif despite his popularity among urban youths, many of whom were voting for the first time in an election that saw a robust turnout of 60 percent. 

However, Khan's Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) put up a strong fight against the PPP, with the count showing the two parties neck-and-neck with about 34 seats each. The PPP led the government for the past five years with 124 lawmakers in parliament.

( via Reuters )
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