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Pakistan needs ‘free and fair elections’, results must be accepted: Malala Yousafzai


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan‘s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has said that her country needs “free and fair elections” and urged the elected officials to accept the voters’ decision with grace. The 26-year-old, who became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize when she was conferred the award in 2014, said, “Pakistan needs free and fair elections, which includes transparency in counting votes and respect for the results.
I believe today, as I always have, that we must accept the voters’ decision with grace. I hope our elected officials, whether in government or opposition parties, will prioritise democracy and prosperity for the people of Pakistan,” she posted on X.
Born in Swat district of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Yousafzai, along with two other girls, was shot by a Taliban gunman who targeted her for her activism for women’s education in October 2012. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, in 2020.
The general elections were held on Thursday, however, no clear victor has emerged as the tardy vote-counting process neared completion. The announcement of results after the polling ended at 5 pm, with the hope that the majority of 265 contested seats would be available by Friday, was delayed beyond normal, giving air to speculation about vote rigging.
Independents backed by jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have sprung a surprise as they have emerged on the top with 101 seats. The group was followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 73 seats, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 54, Muttahida Qaumi Movement with 17 and other seats going to smaller parties.

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