LAHORE   -  The ruling PTI emerged loser in the by-elections held yesterday on 11 Punjab Assembly seats as it lost three out of total eight seats vacated by its candidates after the July 25 vote.

The PML-N, on the other hand, added three more seats to its tally in the provincial house despite losing one seat to an independent candidate.

PTI lost three seats to the PML-N while one seat to an independent candidate.

After the announcement of unofficial results of 11 provincial seats, the PTI was still short of six seats to obtain simple majority in the Punjab Assembly. Out of the 11 vacant seats up for grabs in Sunday’s by-polls, PML-N won six seats while the PTI got four. Two seats went to independent candidates. It may be noted here that two PTI’s candidates, Awais Dareshak from Rajanpur (PP-296) and Ahmad Khan from Mianwali (PP-87) have already been elected unopposed in the by-polls.

As per present party position in Punjab Assembly after the by-elections, the PTI has got 181 members in a House of 371 followed by the PML-N which has 168 members after the addition of six more seats. The PTI still needs five more seats to make simple majority (186 members) though it also enjoys the support of 10 PML-Q members besides two independents and one member of Rahe-Haq party.

The PPP has seven members in the Assembly. It could not add any seat to its present count after the by-polls as it had withdrawn its candidates in favour of the PML-N just before the elections.

PML-N candidate Iftikhar Ahmed Khan won the Punjab Assembly constituency PP-3, Attock-III by-election by securing 43,259 votes. According to unofficial results issued by Returning Officer, Muhammad Akbar Khan of PTI finished second by obtaining 43,032 votes.

According to unofficial results in respect of PP-3 (Attock), PTI’s Muhammad Akbar Khan was leading with 37,852 votes against Iftikhar Ahmad Khan of the PML-N. This seat had been vacated by Tahir Sadiq of the PTI who had also won a national seat.

PML-N candidate from PP-27 (Jhelum), Nasir Mahmood defeated Shah Nawaz Raja of the PTI with a thin margin of over 1,000 votes. Nasir secured 61,542 votes as against 60,444 of Raja, according to unofficial results. Federal Information Minister Fawad Ch had vacated this seat after he took oath on a national seat.

Ahmad Khan of the PTI has already been elected unopposed from PP-87 (Mianwali) in by-election. Election on this seat was postponed on July 25 due to death of one of the candidates.

According to unofficial results, PML-N’s Jafar Ali defeated Shamshair Haider of the PTI as he obtained over 25,000 votes till filing of this report. His rival Shahshair was lagging behind with 20,169 after announcement of results for over 95 percent of the polling stations. Election could not be held on this seat on July 25 due to death of one of the contestants at that time.

An independent candidate Bilal Asghar defeated PTI’s Asad Zaman Khan and PML-N’s Mansoor Ahmad by securing 56,337 votes from PP-118 (TT Singh) Asad Zaman of the PTI got 50,326 votes, according to unofficial results. Ch Khalid Javid of the PML-N had vacated this seat as he had opted to take oath on a national seat.

The PML-N succeeded in retaining two of its provincial seats from Lahore vacated by PML-N President Mian Shehbaz Sharif. PML-N’s Sohail Shaukat Butt and Saiful Malook Khokhar defeated their rivals Ch Yousouf and Mansha Sindhu respectively from PP-164 and PP-165. Sohail Shaukat got 25,871 votes while his rival Ch Yousuf secured 19,500 votes though results from a few polling stations had not yet come till the filing of this report. Saiful Malook Khokkar was leading with 28,516 votes as against 24,542 of Mansha Sindhu. Results from a few polling stations were still awaited.

Samsam Bokhari of the PTI defeated Mohammad Tufail of the PML-N from PP-201 (Sahiwal). Samsam obtained 58,280 votes as against 51,662 of Tufail. Rai Murtaza Iqbal of the PTI had vacated this seat as he was also elected on a national seat.

An independent candidate Qasim Khan defeated Sohail Ahmad Noon of the PTI from PP-222 (Multan) securing 38,327 votes. Sohail Noon got 31,893 votes. This seat fell vacant on the second day of the July 25 vote due to death of Abbas Khaki of the PTI.

PTI’s Fawaz Ahmad defeated PML-N’s Mohammad Tariq from PP-261 (Rahim Yar Khan). He got 29,526 votes. There were conflicting claims about the number of votes his rival got in Sunday’s contest. Punjab Finance Minister Makhdum Jawan Bakht had vacated this seat as he was elected on two provincial seats in July polls.

In an interesting contest in Muzaffargarh district (PP-272), a mother (PTI’s Zahra Batool) defeated her son Syed Haroon Sultan who was in the run as an independent candidate. She secured 24,019 votes as against her son’s 17,017. Basit Sultan Bokhari of the PTI had vacated this seat after the general elections.

Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari of the PML-N defeated his uncle Sardar Maqsood Khan Leghari of the PTI from PP-292 (DG Khan). Mohammad Khan Leghari of the PTI had vacated this seat after he opted to keep a national seat he had won in July elections.

 

PTI still reliant on PML-Q in Punjab

 

MUBASHIR HASSAN