The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) retained the Lahore seat by winning the by-election in National Assembly constituency NA-133 on Sunday.
According to unofficial and unconfirmed results, PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz Malik bagged 46,811 votes. The former ruling party retained the seat for the fourth time which fell vacant after the death of Pervaiz Malik in October.
In comparison with the 2018 general elections results, the PPP has gained a bit of popularity in the constituency as its candidate Aslam Gill got 32,313 votes. Earlier, he could hardly manage to secure a little over 5,000 votes.
Eleven candidates were in the race but the main contenders were the PML-N and the PPP.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was ousted from the electoral exercise after its candidate and the covering candidate had their nomination papers rejected by the ECP.
A total of 254 polling stations were set up for 440,085 registered voters – 233,558 male and 206,927 female.
The polling process largely remained peaceful except some minor scuffles between PML-N and PPP activists in Maryam Colony and Kot Lakhpat.
Both the PML-N and the PPP had arranged transport to bring their voters to polling stations. They also offered food to voters, activists and supporters during polling.
The PML-N workers celebrated the victory at its secretariat. A fireworks show was organised and sweets were distributed.
Later, addressing the media, PML-N leader Khawaja Imran Nazir said the citizens of Lahore had rejected the “politics of money”. Despite paying millions of rupees the PPP failed to get support.
National Assembly’s NA-133 constituency mostly comprises of lower- and middle-income group areas, including Liaquatabad, Model Town Ext (Q, R and S Blocks), Pindi Rajputan, Ismail Nagar, Kot Lakhpat, Chungi Amar Sadhu, Teharta Pind, Bagrian, Green Town, Township, Maryam Colony, Sitara Colony, Farid Colony, Model Colony, Bahar Colony, Ittefaq Factor, Peco Road, Wafaqi Colony and Johar Town.
ALLEGATIONS EXCHANGED: Ali Pervaiz Malik, the son of Shaista Malik, claimed that PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari had tried to rig the election by distributing millions of rupees among voters.
“Zardari’s electioneering strategy has ruined the politics of the PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto,” he added.
He advised the PPP to reconsider its election strategy otherwise the politics of its chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in Punjab would end.
Ali Malik and Imran Nazir claimed that the PPP had done nothing for the betterment of the people in the constituency, except spending public money from the exchequer of the Sindh government.
Nazir said his party had registered their complaint with the Election Commission of Pakistan, which had already formed a committee to probe the incidents of vote trading.
Reacting to the NA-133 by-election result, Punjab government spokesperson Hasaan Khawar said the “politics of money” had failed in the constituency.
He noted that the public had rejected the masterminds of the rigging mafia.
“This reflects how much such elements are hated by the people. Now the PML-N and the PPP are fully aware that their old tactics of rigging will no longer work,” he added.
Khawar said the next elections would be a trial for the electoral reforms.
He termed the turnout of the NA-133 by-election a “real result” because voters had “remained in their homes”.