The former ruling party of the Punjab, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), decimated the Muslim League (PML-N) in the by-elections to snatch back control of the province.

According to unofficial final count of Sunday’s by-polls, the PTI won 15 seats, while the PML-N managed only four, and an independent candidate grabbed one.

According to earlier estimates, the PTI was poised to win 16 seats. But late night, a controversy erupted due to delay in receiving results from some polling stations from PP 7 Rawalpindi II and both the parties claimed victory.

Later, the PML-N was declared winner by a narrow margin of 49 votes, with Raja Sageer Ahmed getting 68,906 votes against PTI’s Shabir Awan who got 68,857.

The victory will enable the PTI to dethrone the PML-N in a recount of votes for the Punjab chief minister election on July 22, in accordance with the Lahore High Court order.

After the victory, the PTI thanked Punjab and lauded the people for their “bravery”.

“With this historic win you have told the world we are a self-respecting nation. Now whatever the Pakistani people decide, will happen. No foreign power has the right to decide our fate,” a message from the party’s official Twitter account said.

THE WINNERS: Among notable wins was PTI’s Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi, son of former foreign minister and party vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, defeating PML-N’s Muhammad Salman in PP-217 Multan VII.

The Form 47 — the consolidated return to the Election Commission of Pakistan of a constituency’s provisional results — showed that Qureshi secured 47,349 votes as against Salman, who bagged 40,429.

The party also emerged victorious in:

PP-288 Dera Ghazi Khan IV
PP-202 Sahiwal VII
PP-83 Khushab II
PP-140 Sheikhupura VI
PP-282 Layyah III
PP-224 Lodhran I
PP-158 Lahore XV
PP-167 Lahore XXIV
PP-170 Lahore XXVII
PP-97 Faisalabad I
PP-90 Bhakkar II
PP-127 Jhang IV
PP-224 Lodhran I
PP-272 Muzaffargarh V

The PML-N won in:

PP-168 Lahore XXV

PP-237 Bhawalnagar I

PP-273 Muzaffargarh VI

PP-7 Rawalpindi II

Independent candidate Syed Muhammad Rafi-ud-Din won PP-228 Lodhran V, with 45,020 votes as against PTI candidate Izzat Javaid Khan, who bagged 38,338.

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