The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday released the complete preliminary results of the July 25 election, more than 56 hours after the conclusion of voting for the 11th General Elections in the country.
According to figures provided by the ECP, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has emerged as the largest political party in the country, winning 115 of the 270 National Assembly seats on which the elections were held.
The party, however, is short of the 137 needed for simple majority even.
PTI leaders who have won more than one seat will also have to give up additional seats as the law allows an individual to retain only one. This means that the party will have to rely on independents as well as parties like the PML-Q, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) in addition to its natural ally, Sheikh Rashid, to be able to form the next government. There are also reports of a possible alliance with MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P).
The PML-N, whose government completed its tenure in May, has this time won 64 seats, while the PPP is in third place with 43 seats to its name.
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of multiple religious parties, has managed to win only 12 seats, whereas MQM-P has garnered just six seats.
PML-Q and the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) have won four seats each, while the Sindh-based Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has scraped together two.
Akhtar Mengal's resurgent Balochistan National Party (BNP) has bagged three berths for itself in the lower house of the parliament, while Awami National Party's (ANP) tally stands at just one.
The Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaniyat and Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) have also grabbed an NA seat each.
Thirteen independent candidates have triumphed in their constituencies and are likely to play an important role in the formation of the federal government.
Recounts on at least five NA seats, however, mean that the final result may differ from the count released by the commission today.
Elections on two NA seats were also postponed by the ECP and will likely be held along with by-elections on seats vacated by leaders who have won more than one seats.
PML-N, which has ruled Punjab for two consecutive tenures, has emerged as the largest party in the province again, winning 129 of the 295 provincial assembly seats on which elections were held on July 25.
However, the party is not certain to form the government as the PTI is close behind with 123 seats and, with the help of independents (28), can bring its own chief minister.
PML-Q has emerged as the third largest party in the province with seven seats while the PPP has won six. Jamshed Dasti's Pakistan Awami Raj has won a seat and so has the BAP.
The PPP is in need of no coalition partners in Sindh Assembly to form the government as it has won 76 seats in the house of 130. The numbers have led the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to announce Murad Ali Shah will again occupy the top slot in the province.
PTI has edged past MQM-P in the province with 23 seats to the latter's 16, primarily on the back of its performance in Karachi.
GDA, which had aimed to break the PPP's monopoly in the province, has won only 11 seats in the provincial assembly.
Khadim Rizvi-led Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which had entered electoral politics for the first time in general elections after rising to fame around last year's Faizabad dharna, has also grabbed two berths for itself in the province, while the MMA has managed only one.
Interestingly, no independent candidate has won a seat in Sindh.
PTI has surprised political observers with its performance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where it has won 66 seats of a total of 97 on which the elections were held.
This is the first time in Pakistan's history that an incumbent party was returned to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
The MMA is a distant second with only 10 seats, while ANP's tally has been slashed to six.
The PPP has won four seats in the provincial assembly while six independents have also won.
The BAP has emerged as the largest party in Balochistan with 15 provincial assembly seats, with MMA in second place with nine.
Who will eventually form the government in Balochistan is unclear as the BNP, BNP-Awami, Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) have won six, three and two seats respectively, while PTI has won four.
Mahmood Khan Achakzai's Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) has managed a single seat, with its former ally, PML-N, also winning one.
Shahzain Bugti's JWP has won a single seat while five independent candidates have also won seats in the province.
The ECP had earlier attributed the delay in counting of ballot papers to a technical fault in the Result Transmission System (RTS) — a software used to relay results from presiding officers to the commission.
The counting process has faced severe criticism from almost all political parties with calls for recounts and then a demand for re-election by a multiparty conference yesterday, attended by the PML-N, MMA, PkMAP, ANP and others.
However, the PML-N has made its demand for a re-election conditional on the decision of its central executive committee.
Foreign observers have also called for the commission to improve the process of counting ballot papers.