Counting of votes begins at Pakistan polling stations

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Islamabad, July 25 (IANS) Counting of votes began on Wednesday at various poll booths in Pakistan where polling was over, media reports said.

Even as the doors of polling stations closed at 6 p.m, voters present inside the booths were allowed to cast their votes.

Polling began at 8 a.m across the country’s 85,307 polling stations and continued until 6 p.m despite calls by major parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to extend the voting time by an hour.

The parties had complained of “slow voting process” and therefore had sought more time to facilitate voters, a request that was dismissed by the Election Commission (EC), Geo News reported.

The election campaign was marred by violence, with three candidates killed in targeted attacks and culminated with a suicide blast outside a polling station in Quetta which claimed at least 37 lives.

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However, undeterred, a majority of Pakistan’s nearly 106 million registered voters came out to cast their ballot, including women in areas where they previously stood disenfranchised due to various issues.

As many as 12,570 candidates contested for a total of 849 seats of national and provincial assemblies in the country’s 11th General Election.

–IANS

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