Counting of ballots begins in presidential election

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 3:10:18 by

Electoral authorities have started counting ballots Tuesday after members of national parliament and provincial assemblies in Pakistan voted to elect the country’s new President.  

Unofficial results will be announced at the conclusion of votes in few hours.

The polling opened at 10:00 a.m. in the joint session of the National Assembly and Senate in the capital Islamabad and four provincial assemblies and continued until 3:00 p.m., without any break.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML- N) had fielded a senior party leader, Mamnoon Hussain, for the office to the president. The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) or Justice Movement had nominated a former court’s judge, Wajhiuddin Ahmad.

It was one- to- one contest as the major opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had boycotted the elections over the change in the original date of polling.

The Supreme Court, on a plea by the PML-N, had ordered the elections to be held on July 30th nearly a week instead of August 6, the previous polling date announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The PPP leaders said they did not have enough time to campaign.

The election was held through secret ballot simultaneously at the parliament house and the four provincial assemblies.

Nearly 1123 national and provincial lawmakers will poll votes.

Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim visited the parliament and monitored the voting.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cast vote in the parliament.

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