The opposition alliance that is a ruling coalition now, failed against one-man party, the PTI, in the by-elections held on Sunday. PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who was contesting from seven constituencies, won six of eight National Assembly seats up for grabs, as per unofficial results.
The PTI chief won in Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Faisalabad, and Nankana Sahib after beating the ruling coalition’s candidates, but faced defeat at the hands of PPP’s Abdul Hakeem Baloch and Musa Ali Gillani.
The main opposition party also won two of three Punjab Assembly seats in the by-elections, further strengthening its position in the country’s biggest province where it rules in coalition with PML-Q.
The constituencies where polling took place included NA-22 Mardan-III, NA-24 Charsadda-II, NA-31 Peshawar-V, NA-108 Faisalabad-VIII, NA-118 Nankana Sahib-II, NA 157 Multan-IV, NA-237 Malir-II, NA-239 Korangi, Karachi-I.
The lower house seats were vacated after Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had accepted the resignations of PTI MNAs — nine on general seats and two on reserved seats for women.
By-elections were also held on three Punjab Assembly seats — PP-241 Bahawalnagar-V, PP-209 Khanewal-VII, and PP-139 Sheikhupura-V.
THE OUTCOME: Imran Khan bagged 57,824 votes to defeat his rival in Peshawar’s NA-31 by-election, according to unofficial results, with ANP’s Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour securing 32,253 votes — allowing the PTI chairman to win by more than 25,000 votes.
JUI-F’s Maulana Muhammad Qasim was able to get 68,181 votes in the Mardan NA-22 by-poll, while Khan secured 76,681 votes, as per unofficial results. The PTI chairman won by a margin of 8,500 votes.
In the Charsadda NA-24 by-polls, as per unofficial results, the PTI chairman managed to bag 78,589 votes and ANP’s Aimal Wali Khan got 68,356 votes. Khan won the contest by 10,233 votes.
Imran Khan (99,602) also emerged victorious in the NA-108 Faisalabad clash as he defeated PML-N’s Abid Sher Ali (75,131), say unofficial results, by more than 24,471 votes.
The former prime minister also claimed victory on the NA-118 Nankana Sahib-II seat with 90,180 votes, according to unofficial results, defeating PML-N’s Shezra Mansab Ali by a little over 12,000 votes. Ali obtained 78,024 votes.
The PTI chief also won Karachi’s NA-239 by-polls with 50,014 votes, according to unofficial results, as the party retained the seat in Korangi. Khan defeated MQM-P’s Nayyar Raza amidst an easy contest.
However, PPP’s Abdul Hakeem Baloch defeated the PTI chairman by obtaining 32,567 votes in the by-election on the NA-237 Malir-II seat, according to unofficial results.
With nearly 10,000 votes less than Baloch, Khan bagged 22,493 in the constituency — which was claimed by PTI during the 2018 general elections.
Musa — the son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani — bagged 79,743 votes in the NA-157 Multan-IV by-election and took a lead of 19,750 as Meher — the daughter of PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi — was able to secure 59,993 votes, according to unofficial results.
PUNJAB ASSEMBLY: On the Punjab Assembly seats, PTI candidates Muhammad Faisal Khan Niazi and Malik Muhammad Muzaffar Khan emerged victorious from PP-209 Khanewal and PP-241 Bahawalnagar, respectively, while PML-N’s Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed Bhangoo bagged the PP-139 Sheikhupura seat.
ECP REJECTS PTI’S RIGGING ALLEGATION: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) allegations of rigging in by-elections on eight seats of National Assembly and three seats of provincial assembly, and termed these allegations “baseless” and “ridiculous”.
A spokesman for the ECP said that by-elections had been held according to the voters’ lists prepared in 2018 (when the PTI won the general election in the country).
Interestingly, the PTI has levelled allegations of rigging despite having won a majority of seats in the by-polls. Of eight National Assembly seats, PTI Chairman Imran Khan was contesting for seven seats while PTI’s Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s daughter Sheharbano was contesting on the PTI’s ticket from Multan.
“The PTI’s allegation of changing votes from relevant constituencies is ridiculous. How can it be ascertained from the voter lists as to who will cast vote to whom?” the ECP spokesperson asked.
The spokesperson said the voters lists had been prepared under a fair and errorless process in which people had been apprised (about registration of votes) at every stage.
“Today’s elections have been held according to the voter lists of 2018 and, therefore, objections on the voter lists is absolutely based on lies and lack of awareness,” the ECP official said.
BILORE SERVED NOTICE: Meanwhile, the ECP has served a notice to Samar Haroon Bilore, a member of provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), for violating election rules and showing her cast vote on social media through her cellphone.
“A notice has been served on Ms Samar Haroon Bilore for violation of secrecy of ballot under section 234 of the Election Act,” the spokesman said.
“That is a clear violation of secrecy of ballot section 178,” the spokesman said.
Ms Samar has been summoned in the office of the ECP’s district monitoring officer, Peshawar, at 11 am on Monday.