KARACHI - Mamnoon Hussain, candidate for ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, succeeded in securing support of 64 MPAs while his opponent, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Wajihuddin Ahmed, bagged only five votes of a total of 69 polled in the presidential election in Sindh Assembly on Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, 91 parliamentarians from Pakistan People’s Party boycotted the poll in a 168-member House, in which nearly 163 were eligible to cast vote.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf all did use their franchise right, however.

The special sitting commenced at 10am, with Sindh High Court Chief Justice Musheer Alam – presiding officer for presidential poll – in the chair. After na’at and recitations from the holy Quran, the voting process for the country’s 12th president got underway. MPA Irfanullah Marwat performed as polling agent for PML-N and MPA Samar Ali Khan for PTI. Instructions about polling and not using mobiles and cameras were dispatched to all members in written form before the voting process began.

Without an interval till 03:00pm, turn by turn 69 members stamped the ballot and put it in the box. MQM’s Abdul Haseeb was the first to walk up to the speaker’s rostrum.

In absence of 91 parliamentarians from PPP, 72 members belonging to MQM, PML-N, PML-F and PTI had to cast their vote. However, three members – Erum Azeem Farooque and Aesha Aftab of MQM and Ghulam Rasoom alias Aqib Jatoi of PML-N – could not use their franchise right for being abroad.

Once MQM and PML-F members had cast their votes, they did not return back. Some of PML-N and PTI members stayed back as far as the vote count and announcement of results.

Presiding officer Musheer Alam announced a total of 69 votes were polled and they were all valid. The judge thanked the members for taking part in the presidential poll in a good manner.

One of the striking aspects of the presidential poll was the winning of an extra vote by PTI against its strength of four members in Sindh Assembly. This one unexpected vote surprised all concerned.

PTI’s parliamentary leader Hafeezuddin called this anonymous supporter a conscious person and invited him/her to party folds. He told newsmen PTI would welcome this member.

PML-N’s parliamentary leader Irfanullah Marwat meanwhile said this unexpected vote for PTI was no big deal since his party candidate had secured the highest number of votes, 64. He also thanked MQM, PML-F and his party’s MPAs for their support.

Special security arrangements were put in place for the day, as 200 cops manned the assembly premises.