Scott: Streets in Pakistan were full of celebrations like this…as the results of the country’s landmark elections were coming in and showing Nawaz Sharif comfortably ahead in the race.
Sharif will serve as prime minister for a third time. He was kicked out of office fourteen years ago, when the military took over the country in a coup. Later, a civilian government was voted in to replace the military. This election marks the first time in Pakistan’s history that an elected civilian government will finish its term and then hand power over to another elected civilian government. The Islamic country has been ruled by the military for more than half of its turbulent history.
Voter turnout on Saturday was the highest in more than thirty years. Officials said 60% of the country’s 86 million eligible voters went to the polls despite threats from suicide bomber attacks from the extremist group the Taliban.
Pakistani: I think about 40% of the people, they were all first time voters. They never voted before because they thought a change would never come.
Scott: Prime Minister Sharif had faced a strong challenge from one the country’s biggest celebrities. Imran Khan, a former player on the national cricket team, led that team to their only world championship back in 1992. This time, he lost in his effort to bring in new and younger voices in Pakistan’s government.
Pakistani: He has done everything good for Pakistan, and he has the passion and he has the spirit. And he is right man.
Scott: The millions who voted this past weekend say they are now hoping for progress on everything from battling terrorism to more of a say in their new government.
Scott Evans, Channel One News.