“The powers that think that everything is in their hands, I want to tell that there is nothing in your hands,’’ said Maulana Fazal ur Rehman, the leader of a small but powerful religious party. He said election officials had been “held hostage” by soldiers assigned to poling stations.
Some analysts said that Mr. Rehman was simply being a sore loser because his party performed poorly, and that even Mr. Rehman, the party’s leader, lost his race. Either way, Mr. Rehman threatened to stage street protests, which his party has carried out in the past with big numbers, causing great disruption.
A representative of the Pakistan Peoples Party, which is run by the Bhutto political dynasty and came third with 43 seats, said on Friday that it had yet to decide whether to accept the official results.
At 11 p.m. on election night, the election commission had finished counting all but three of the contested national assembly races. Complete results can be found here.
Mr. Khan’s rivals have accused officials of rigging the vote in Mr. Khan’s favor, and they said the slow tabulation of ballots, which has taken more than two days, was suspicious. Election officials have apologized, saying the delay was caused by a meltdown in their computer systems that cut off the transmission of results on election night.
Most Pakistanis have taken the glitches in their stride and accepted Mr. Khan as the winner. On Friday in Lahore, one of Pakistan’s biggest cities, few people sitting in cafes or shopping in stores were paying much attention to the political news being broadcast on televisions all around them. Despite vague threats by the losing parties, no major protests have broken out, so far.
Mr. Khan remains popular, especially among young people in Pakistan’s cities, who seem energized by his win. He is known as a strident anticorruption fighter, and in a speech to the nation he made on Thursday, he emphasized populist policies to help Pakistan’s many poor people.
Orignially published in NYT.