- PML-N manages only three provincial seats
Election results continued to pour in after the conclusion of polling at 3,131 stations for Punjab by-elections in 20 crucial consNtituencies, Aaj News reported.
According to unofficial results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had so far won 14 seats and led in two other constituencies.
The vote count, however, is still underway to decide the fate of 175 candidates with the main contest expected between PML-N and PTI contenders, as both parties are eyeing the slot of the top chair in Punjab. Polling began at 8:00 am and continued unhindered till 5:00 pm.
Here are the unofficial results of 20 Punjab constituencies:
PTI’s Col (retd) M Shabbir Awan is leading the race with 10,938 votes followed by PML-N candidate Raja Sagheer Ahmad who has obtained 10,177 votes.
PTI candidate Hassan Aslam Malik won Khushab’s PP-83 by securing 48,475 votes against the independent candidate Asif Malik Bha who could bag 41,752 votes.
PTI candidate Irfan Ullah Niazi won this constituency by obtaining 68,982 votes, while the PML-N candidate Saeed Akbar Nawani secured 59,856 votes.
PTI Ali Afzal Sahi is leading the vote count with 18,670 votes followed by PML-N's Muhammad Ajmal Cheema who has obtained 17,203 votes.
PTI candidate Mian Azam Chela won the constituency by obtaining 82,382 votes while PML-N candidate Faisal Hayat Jabboana received 52,178 votes.
PTI candidate Mehar Nawaz Bharwana secured the seat with 69,986 votes while PML-N candidate Mehar Aslam Bharwana received 46,825 votes.
PTI candidate Khurram Shahzad Virk won PP-140 by securing 49,734 votes. His main rival, PML-N’s Mian Khalid Mehmood obtained 6,546 votes.
PTI’s Mian Akram Usman won this constituency by obtaining 37,463 votes while PML-N candidate Rana Ahsan Sharafat received 31,906 votes.
PTI candidate Shabbir Ahmed Gujjar won by getting 40,206 votes followed by PML-N candidate Nazir Ahmed Chohan who obtained 26,535 votes.
PTI candidate Malik Zaheer Abbas won PP-170 by securing 23,969 votes. PML-N’s Muhammad Amin Zulqarnain obtained only 14,916 votes.
PML-N’s Malik Asad Khokhar won PP-168 after securing 26,174 votes. His main opponent, PTI’s Nawaz Awan received 15,719 votes.
PTI candidate Ghulam Sarwar registered victory by securing 61,989 votes folowed by PML-N candidate Malik Nauman Langrial could obtain 59,167 vovotes.
PTI’s candidate Makhdoom Zain Qureshi won PP-127 of Multan with 46,427 votes, while PML-N candidate Muhammad Salman Naeem could only secure 40,285.
PTI candidate Amir Iqbal Shah secured victory by obtaining 69,625 votes, while PML-N candidate Zawar Hussain Warraich secured 55,748 votes.
Independent candidate Rafi Ud Din Bukhari won PP-228 in Lodhran. He obtained 42,719 votes, followed by PTI candidate Izzat Javaid who received 34,635 votes.
PML-N candidate Fida Hussain Wattoo won the election by obtaining 61,248 votes while PTI candidate Syed Aftab Raza could obtain 25,227 votes.
PTI candidate Moazzam Ali Jatoi secured victory by securing 49,823 votes, while PML-N candidate Zehra Basit Bukhari obtained 42,995 votes.
PML-N candidate Muhammad Sibtain Raza won by obtaining 52,631 while the PTI’s Yasir Arfat Jatoi could secure 46,903.
PTI candidate Qasier Abbas Magsi won this seat with 43,922 votes, while PML-N candidate Muhammad Tahir Randhawa received 29,715 votes.
PP-288 Dera Ghazi Khan
PTI’s Saifuddin Khosa won PP-288 by receiving 56,857 votes, while his opponent, PML-N’s Abdul Qadir Khosa secured 33,254 votes.
Reacting to the results, former premier and PTI Chairman Imran Khan congratulated the party workers and voters on a landslide victory in the Punjab by-elections.
“I want to first thank our PTI workers [and] voters of Punjab for defeating not just [PML-N] candidates but the entire state machinery, [especially] harassment by police and a totally biased [Election Commission of Pakistan],” Imran Khan wrote on Twitter.
Earlier on Sunday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that security in the constituencies where by-elections are taking place was on high alert to ensure law and order.
The civil armed forces have been deployed in all constituencies at the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Radio Pakistan reported quoting Sanaullah.
The interior minister said that additional troops have been deputed in sensitive electorates while Rangers, Frontier Constabulary, and military troops have been deputed as Quick Response Force.
PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar has said, “PTI workers carrying illegal weapons” in Sheikhupura were arrested.
“There were reports that PTI workers were carrying weapons in Sheikhupura and would try to disrupt the peace.”
He added that the police acted immediately and arrests were made.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged the people to exercise their right to vote "to give a clear verdict against those who lie."
"The people of 20 constituencies of Punjab are requested to come out of their homes with full enthusiasm, and exercise their right to vote, your future depends on this slip. Elders, mothers, and men and women should decide today that service will rule in Punjab and Pakistan, not incompetence, lies, and corruption," he tweeted.
"Give a clear verdict against those who lie, take away the facility of 100 units of free electricity," he added.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has urged voters to cast their ballots in favour of the PTI if they were satisfied with the performance of former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar's government.
"[But] if you think the provincial government should keep a check on prices, provide cheap flour and sugar, construct and maintain hospitals and schools, and keep your neighborhood clean, then vote for the PML-N," he said on Twitter.
PML-N leader, Hina Parvez Butt, called on the people of Punjab to “get up and make your choice be heard”.
“Reject the fitna of people like Niazi and the enemies of Punjab,” she added soon after voting went underway.
Earlier in the day, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was arrested in Muzaffargarh. Gill was arrested for allegedly visiting different polling booths with his security guards who were dressed as FC personnel.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan strongly condemned his arrest, terming it a try to rig elections and spread fear in people.
"These fascist tactics will not work and our ppl will not be deterred from exercising their right to vote. Handlers of Imported govt should realise damage they are doing to our nation.
Meanwhile, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry's car was attacked by the workers of other political parties near Ferozpur Road Lahore, Aaj News reported.
Fawad’s vehicle was crossing Ferozpur Road when the workers surrounded his car and pelted stones.
The windows of his car were broken in the alleged attack, however, he remained safe in the incident. The workers also shouted slogans against Fawad Chaudhry.
Fawad, Shaukat Tareen, and others came to visit the polling station. Reportedly, no action was taken by the police present at the polling station.
The ruling PML-N needs to win a total of 9 seats in the by-elections to gain a majority to elect their Chief Minister in the country’s biggest province.
Voters can also know their polling stations through a specially activated SMS 8300 service for their guidance. Meanwhile, the ECP has set up central and provincial control rooms for the bye-elections. A central control room has been established in Election Commission Islamabad. Complaints regarding polling can be registered on the phone No. 051-9204402 -3051-9210837- 8 FAX Number 051-9204404.
By-elections are being held in the constituencies of the Punjab Assembly, i.e., PP-7 Rawalpindi; PP-83, Khushab; PP-90 Bhakkar; PP-97 Faisalabad; PP-125, Jhang; PP-127, Jhang; PP-140 Sheikhupura; PP-158, Lahore; PP-167, Lahore; PP-168, Lahore; PP-170 Lahore; PP-202 Sahiwal; PP-217 Multan; PP-224, Lodhran; PP-228, Lodhran; PP-237, Bahawalnagar; PP-272- Muzaffargarh; PP-273 Muzaffargarh; PP-282, Layyah and PP-288 Dera Ghazi Khan.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has completed all necessary arrangements for the by-polls. A total of 4.58 million registered voters, including 2.19 million women, are eligible to vote in the by-polls for these seats. As many as 3131 polling stations, including 731 for males, 700 for females, besides 1700 combined polling stations have been established across the 20 constituencies. A total of 9,562 polling booths have been set up for the by-polls. The ECP has declared 1304 polling stations sensitive and 690 highly sensitive. Polling stations from Lahore (4 seats) and Multan (one seat) have been declared sensitive, sources said.
As many as 20 Punjab seats fell vacant after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members for switching loyalties. The PTI’s provincial legislators had decided to vote for Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N)’s candidate Hamza Shehbaz for the slot of Punjab Chief Minister; subsequently, they were de-seated from the Punjab Assembly under Article 63-A.
An interesting contest is expected to take place in Multan (PP-217) where the son of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Zain Qureshi of the PTI, was contesting against Salman Naeem of the PML-N.
In Jhang, Mian Muhammad Azam of the PTI and Faisal Hayat of the PML-N are contesting the elections in PP-125. In PP-127, Mahar Nawaz Bharwana of the PTI was contesting against PML-N’s candidate Mahar Aslam Bharwana.
In PP-288 (Dera Ghazi Khan), Sardar Saifuddin Khosa of the PTI and Abdul Qadir Khan Khosa of the PML-N are contesting the elections, and in PP-202 (Sahiwal) Major (R) Ghulam Sarwar of the PTI is contesting against Nauman Langrial of the PML-N.
In PP-90 (Bhakkar), there is a contest between Irfan Ullah Khan Niazi of the PTI and Saeed Akbar Nawani of the PML-N, whereas Syed Aftab Raza of the PTI and Mian Fida Hussain of the PML-N is contesting the election in Bahawalnagar (PP-237).
In Muzaffargarh (PP-273), it is a contest between Yasir Arafat Jatoi of the PTI and Muhammad Sibtain Raza of the PML-N, whereas, in PP-282 (Layyah), PTI’s Qaiser Abbas will take on PML-N’s Muhammad Tahir Randhawa.