PML-N improves showing in Pak by-polls; PTI front runner
Islamabad, Oct 15: Pakistan’s deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N recovered some ground in the by-elections by eating up the votes of prime minister Imran Khan’s PTI, winning four out of 11 parliamentary seats which went to the polls, according to the results on Monday.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lost its two seats vacated be Prime Minister Khan. His seat in Lahore was won by former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) and in Bannu by of Zahid Akram Durrani of the Muttahida Majlis Aml party.
The outcome of the by-election will not impact the federal or provincial government but help reinvigorate the opposition parties.
Polling for 11 National Assembly — the lower house of Parliament — and 24 provincial seats saw a tough competition between the ruling PTI led by Khan and the main opposition PML-N.
The PML-N and the PTI won four seats each of the National Assembly whereas Pakistan Muslims League-Quadi won two seats and Muttahida Majlis Amal one seat, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said.
The PTI won 11 seats of the provincial assemblies while the PML-N won seven. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by former president Asif Ali Zardari, and Awami National Party won two each and independent candidates grab two seats.
The PML-N won six out of 11 contested seats in Punjab while its arch-rival PTI won five. The PML-N also won a provincial assembly seat in Khyber-Pakhtukhwa, which is the stronghold of the PTI.
The PML-N won several seats vacated by the PTI candidates during July 25 general elections including at least two seats of the National Assembly.
According to the ECP, 9.28 million voters were eligible to vote. For the first time, overseas Pakistanis also participated in the elections though a special online portal designed by the ECP.
Thousands of army soldiers, police and paramilitary Rangers and Frontier Corps were deployed to provide security at 7,489 polling stations.
The ECP had designated as many as 1,727 polling stations as highly sensitive where extra troops were deployed and security cameras installed.
Most of the seats which went to the polls were vacated by those candidates who had won on more than one seat during the July 25 general elections. Prime Minister Khan had won five seats and vacated four which were also up for grabs.