31 people dead after Pakistan polling station explosion

Supporters of Imran Khan head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf party celebrate in Islamabad after the country's general election. AFP

But the campaign was marred by widespread allegations of pre-poll meddling by Pakistan's powerful military in favor of Khan, which saw the process dubbed Pakistan's "dirtiest election".

The election has been seen as a contest between Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and Mr Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Pakistan's incumbent party rejected early election results Thursday that suggested former cricket hero Imran Khan was on his way to becoming the country's next prime minister, alleging "blatant" rigging.

Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) president Maulana Fazlur Rehman said he was going to call an All Parties Conference over the "rigged" election results.

Hours after the polls opened, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a crowd waiting to vote in the southwestern city of Quetta.

"Imran Khan doesn't have many friends or allies; he's not someone who really knows how to work with people", said Mohammad Malick, a popular political talk show host, referring to Khan's famous stubbornness.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack via its official news agency.

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The attack in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, underscored the difficulties the majority Muslim nation faces on its wobbly journey toward sustained democracy. Another 400 were wounded. Election commission secretary Babar Yaqub told reporters there were also threats against polling stations, staff and even candidates.

"We have got our Naya Pakistan", said Shahid Ali, one of the supporters, as he danced euphorically near the busy Faizabad interchange, which links Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

She said that all of Malir's NA results had been withheld, adding that the PPP had received more than 250 complaints. "It is a big shock to Pakistan's democratic process".

Yusuf said the top challenge for the next government will be the economic crisis. The form contains the final vote tally at each polling station. Islamabad. After voting, he appealed on Pakistanis to come out and vote in huge numbers "to save future generations".

"I have voted for PML-N my whole life but this time I voted for PTI because Imran Khan has promised free education and health", said 75-year-old Uzma Akram.

Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from public office by the Supreme Court previous year, after hearings on financial malfeasance charges that were pushed by Mr Khan and others.

Sharif warned his party would launch protests against the alleged rigging.

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As per the Election Commission, at least 3,459 candidates are in the fray for 272 general seats of the National Assembly, while 8,396 candidates are running for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies - Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Sixty seats are reserved for women and ten for minorities which are decided on a basis of five-percent proportional representation.

Hashim Ghilza, a local administration official, said the bomber tried to enter a polling station. Voting for two parliamentary seats and six seats in provincial assemblies has been postponed due to attacks on candidates or disqualifications.

Results will start trickling in within hours, and the likely victor should be known by around 2:00am on Thursday.

More than 106-million Pakistanis will vote today, with the polls closing at 11pm AEST.

Hamdani said the situation was under control and voting was underway in Col Sher Khan village. "Our polling agents were not given results and we will not accept it", said Khurshid Shah of PPP.

He urged people to vote, tweeting: "This is the first time in 4 decades the nation has a chance to defeat the entrenched status quo".

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