Politics

Pakistan prepares for historic election

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Supporters of the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) participate in an election campaign rally in Karachi on May 6, 2013.

Credit:

ASIF HASSAN

The elections on May 11 will mark the first time Pakistan has had a transition between democratic governments.

However, the transition would be far from peaceful, as the months of campaign have been marred by violence including kidnapping, shooting and bombing.

According to local media tallies, more than 100 people have died in elections-related attacks since late April, when campaigning for the general election that will choose Pakistan’s parliament began.

More from GlobalPost: Pakistan election: Will the violence end?

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    Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif waves as he addresses his supporters during an election campaign meeting in Islamabad on May 5, 2013. A roadside bomb exploded at an election rally in southwest Pakistan on May 5 killing two people, officials said as violence continued ahead of historic polls on Saturday. Pakistan will elect its new government for the next five years in polls on May 11. The election of the national and four provincial assemblies will mark the first time a civilian government has completed a full term and handed over to another, in a country that has been ruled by the military for half its existence.

    Credit:

    AAMIR QURESHI

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    Supporters of the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) participate in an election campaign rally in Karachi on May 6, 2013.

    Credit:

    ASIF HASSAN

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    Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) party, addresses supporters during an election campaign rally on May 06, 2013 in Multan, Pakistan. Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PMLN) have been campaigning hard in the last weeks before polling.

    Credit:

    Daniel Berehulak

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    This photograph taken on May 6, 2013, Pakistani candidate for national assembly for Pakistan Muslim League-Q, (PML-Q) party Ruquiya Hashmi, waves to supporters during an election campaign meeting in Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan. Ruquiya Hashmi, a doctor and a former soldier, faces a double challenge -- as well as being Hazara she is also the first woman to stand in Quetta for the national assembly. For the past few days she has had threatening phone calls and letters sent to her offices. She is running for Pakistan Muslim League-Q, an ally of the outgoing government, but she is determined to stand up to the extremists.

    Credit:

    BANARAS KHAN

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    Supporters of Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan flash victory signs as they take part in an election campaign rally in Islamabad on May 8, 2013. Doctors said they expect Pakistani politician Imran Khan to make a full recovery despite fracturing his spine in a fall at a campaign rally just days before the general election. The retired cricket star and head of the Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI) suffered several fractured vertebrae and a broken rib on Tuesday night when he fell from a lift raising him onto a platform at a campaign rally.

    Credit:

    AAMIR QURESHI

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    Supporters of Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan wave party flags as they listen to Khan on a screen through video link from a hospital during the last election campaign meeting in Islamabad on May 9, 2013. Bed-ridden Pakistani politician Imran Khan on May 9 urged the nation to unite for change, delivering a deeply personal speech to wrap up an electric campaign for a breakthrough role in politics. The charismatic 60-year-old has been ordered by doctors to remain immobile in a hospital bed with fractured vertebrae and a broken rib after falling on Tuesday at a rally in Lahore ahead of Saturday's general elections.

    Credit:

    AAMIR QURESHI

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    Punjab police wait for the arrival of Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML) party, during the final day of campaigning at an election rally on May 09, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan. Nawaz held his final rally in his stronghold city of Lahore.

    Credit:

    Daniel Berehulak

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    Supporters wait for the arrival of Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML) party, during the final day of campaigning at an election rally on May 09, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan. Nawaz held his final rally in his stronghold city of Lahore.

    Credit:

    Daniel Berehulak

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    A Pakistani ice vendor sits on his bicycle as he waits for customers in front of a wall littered with political propaganda posters on a street of the old city in Lahore on May 10, 2013, one day before some 86 million registered voters will go to the polls to elect lawmakers to the lower house of parliament and four provincial assemblies. Pakistan's general elections will mark the first democratic transition of power in the country's 66-year existence.

    Credit:

    ROBERTO SCHMIDT

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    Pakistani election officials sit with their ballot boxes and other election materials as they wait for transport at a distribution centre in Quetta on May 10, 2013. Pakistan goes to the polls on May 11, to elect a new government, the first time in the country's turbulent history that one civilian administration has handed power to another through the ballot box.

    Credit:

    BANARAS KHAN

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    Pakistani army soldiers stand guard outside the electoral materials distribution centre in Karachi on May 10, 2013.

    Credit:

    ASIF HASSAN

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    Pakistanis army soldiers stand guard outside an electoral materials distribution centre in Karachi on May 10, 2013.

    Credit:

    ASIF HASSAN

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    Papu, a horse handler performs with a horse named Bilorani as they entertain a crowd during a political rally in Lahore on May 9, 2013, two days before some 86 million registered voters will go to the polls to elect lawmakers to the lower house of parliament and four provincial assemblies.

    Credit:

    ROBERTO SCHMIDT

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    Military and police personnel oversee the delivery and unloading of ballot boxes and papers on May 10, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan.

    Credit:

    Daniel Berehulak

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    Military and police personnel oversee the delivery and unloading of ballot boxes and papers on May 10, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistan's parliamentary elections are due to be held on May 11. It is the first time in the country's history that an elected government will hand over power to another elected government.

    Credit:

    Daniel Berehulak