LAHORE – Unofficial and unverified results show a tough fight between the two major political parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz – after a day-long polling process for by-election on 35 National and provincial assemblies’ seats.
As per the available results, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) win four seats each.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) managed to bag two seats that were vacated by Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, while the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) secured the NA-35 constituency in Bannu.
Polling began at 8:00 am (PST) on Sunday morning and continued till 5:00 pm (PST) without any break, under the supervision of Pakistan Army personnel.
Over 100 candidates took part in elections for 35 national and provincial assembly seats, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
- PML-N’s Saad Rafique outruns PTI’s Humayun Akhtar Khan in race for Lahore’s NA-131 seat
- PM Imran Khan cast his vote in NA 53 Islamabad
- Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif unable to cast his vote after he forgot original CNIC at his Raiwind house
- PML-Q’s Chaudhary Shujaat cast his vote in NA-69 Gujrat
- PTI stalwart Ghulam Sarwar Khan cast his vote in NA-63 Taxila
- Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari cast his vote in PP-292 DG Khan
Over 9.9 million ballot papers were printed for the by-election on 11 seats of National Assembly, nine of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly, 11 of Punjab and two each of Balochistan and Sindh assemblies.
In Lahore, there are contests on NA-124 and NA-131, Rawalpindi (NA-60 and NA-63), Chakwal (NA-65), Gujrat (NA-69), Faisalabad (NA-103) and Attock (NA-56).
There will be contest on 11 Punjab Assembly seats — two in Lahore (PP-164 and 165), Faisalabad (PP-103), Toba Tek Singh (PP-118), Attock (PP-3), Jhelum (PP-27), Sahiwal (PP-201), Multan (PP-222), Muzaffargarh (PP-272), Rahim Yar Khan (PP-264) and DG Khan (PP-292).
In Karachi, PTI is expected to face tough competition from its ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
11 National Assembly seats
PTI: 4 PML-N: 4 PML-Q: 2 MMA: 1
NA-35: MMA’s Zahid Akram is leading with 51,144 votes, followed by PTI’s Naseem Ali Shah with 32,033 votes.
NA-53: Ali Nawaz Awan of PTI is leading with 40,907 against PML-N’s Waqar Ahmed who has secured 25,170 so far.
NA-56: PML-N’s Malik Sohail Khan leads with 112,032 votes compared to PTI’s Malik Khurram Ali’s 77,641.
NA-60: PTI’s Rashid Shafique is leading with 36,035 followed by PML-N candidate Malik Sajjad Khan who has secured 35,792 votes so far.
NA-63: Mansoor Hayat Khan of PTI wins the Taxila seat, beating PML-N’s Aqeel Malik.
NA-65: PML-Q’s Salik Hussain is leading after securing 98,364 votes against TLP’s Muhammad Yaqoob, who has secured 34,811 so far.
NA-69: PML-Q’s Moonis Elahi leads with 51,201 votes. Elahi is followed by PML-N’s Imran Zafar, who has so far secured 12,020 votes.
NA-103: With 55,757 votes, PML-N’s Ali Gohar Khan is leading against PTI’s Muhammad Saadullah who has secured 46,539 votes so far.
NA-124: PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi secures victory with 75,012 votes, followed by PTI’s Ghulam Mohiuddin, who has so far secured 30,115 votes.
NA-131: PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique leads with 38,721 votes to his credit. PTI’s Hammyun Akhtar Khan follows with 34,182 votes.
NA-243: PTI’s Alamgir Khan wins after securing 35,727 votes against MQM-P’s Amir Chishti, who got 15,396 votes.
In the by-elections on 24 provincial assembly seats – 11 in Punjab, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two each in Sindh and Balochistan – the PTI was leading in nine constituencies, while the PML-N was ahead in six constituencies.
In Sindh by-election were held on two provincial assembly seats, PS-30 and PS-87. The PS-30 Khairpur seat was secured by PPP’s Syed Ahmad Raza Shah Jilani by defeating Waliur Rehman of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and others.
PPP’s Sajid Ali Jokhio bagged the PS-87 Malir seat by thrashing PTI’s Quadir Bux Khan Gabol.
As per unofficial results, Akbar Mengal, who was fielded by Balochistan National Party-Mengal and Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl jointly, is leading in PB-40-Khuzdar, till filing of this report.
In PB-36 Mastung, former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Aslam Khan Raisani, an independent candidate, was leading with results of around 20 polling stations yet to come.
By-polls were held at 11 provincial assembly seats in Punjab. The PML-N won five and the PTI bagged four, whereas two independent candidates won the other two seats, unofficial results said.
Of the nine provincial assembly seats, where by-elections were held, the PTI is leading with five seats, followed by the Awami National Party (ANP) with three seats and the PML-N in Swat (PK-3) constituency.
The by-elections were held in PK-3 Swat, PK-7 Swat, PK-44 Swabi, PK-53 Mardan, PK-61 Nowshera, PK-64 Nowshera, PK-78 Peshawar, and PK-97 and PK-99 D.I. Khan.
Overseas Pakistanis cast vote for the first time
This is the first time that overseas Pakistanis also cast their votes in the by-polls.
According to data provided by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), over 5 million registered voters, including 2.3 million women and over 2.7 million men, will cast their votes in 7,489 polling stations across the country, of which 1,727 polling stations have been declared sensitive.
The proportion of most sensitive polling stations is highest in Balochistan (68.02 percent), followed by KP (34.98pc), Sindh (20.20pc) and Punjab (16.32pc).
Security cameras have been installed at all the sensitive polling stations which would be guarded by army troops. Troops would remain deployed there till October 15, a day after the polling.
Like July 25th General Elections, the designated in-charges of army personnel deployed in and outside the polling stations enjoyed the powers of a magistrate first class during the entire period of their deployment and were empowered to summarily try those found involved in impersonation, capturing of polling stations or violation of other relevant provisions of the law.
District returning officers and returning officers for the by-elections were also given powers of magistrate first class.
Nearly 40,000 army personnel and around 100,000 police personnel have been stationed for polling duty.
The ECP has also issued a code of conduct for the security staff to follow. The security staff will be answerable to the presiding officer and the returning officers (RO) and will not interfere during the counting process.
To avoid the confusion seen in the general elections, the ECP has informed voters that mobile phones, cameras and bags will not be allowed inside polling stations.
Voters should get the information about the polling stations they are registered in by sending their National Identity Card (NIC) number to 8300 as a text message.
Voters must bring their original NICs with them in order to be able to cast their votes. “Any document other than the NIC will not be acceptable,” the notice warns. Expired NICs will also be acceptable.
Voters are also requested to observe the secrecy of the ballot and cooperate with the security personnel and polling staff. The notice assures voters that security personnel will not stop them from entering their respective polling stations.
ECB sets up complaints cell
Election Commission of Pakistan monitoring and complaint cell is now up for the general public.
Voters can register complaints about poll day irregularities on the numbers provided for their constituencies.