PTI beats PML-N on home ground in Punjab by-elections

LAHORE – PTI candidates are leading on most seats across Punjab.–Photo courtesy social media

LAHORE – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday won 15 of the 20 seats in the Punjab by-elections.

The Punjab by-elections were otherwise marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging against the ruling Pakistan Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the state machinery, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the intelligence agencies of the country.

The ruling PML-N won four seats, while independent candidates won only one seat.

Initial trends showed the PTI leading on most seats as vote count was under way after completion of the voting process.

Soon after unofficial results showed his party was going to win the by-elections by a wide margin, PTI Chairman Imran Khan congratulated his party’s workers and supporters for defeating the PML-N and those on its back. He said that free and fair general elections were the only way forward now.

Khan took to Twitter to express his views and wrote, “I want to first thank our PTI workers & voters of Punjab for defeating not just PMLN candidates but the entire state machinery, esp harassment by police, & a totally biased ECP. Thank you to all our Allies, PMLQ, MWM & Sunni Ittehad Council.

“The only way forward from here is to hold fair & free elections under a credible ECP. Any other path will only lead to greater political uncertainty & further economic chaos.”

PML-N Concedes Defeat

Even before the vote count was completed, PML-N leaders conceded defeat in the Punjab by-elections.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said her party should accept the defeat with an open heart.

PML-N spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan came out and conceded his party’s defeat. He accepted that the PTI had achieved a historic victory in the by-elections. He said that Hamza Shahbaz had also asked his party leaders and workers to respect people’s mandate.

Here are unofficial results of by-elections in 20 constituencies of Punjab:

PP-288 Dera Ghazi Khan: PTI candidate Sardar Saifuddin Khosa has won the seat by securing 580,15 votes. His rival Abdul Qadir Khosa of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured 32,487 votes and remained the runner-up.

PP-217 Multan: PTI candidate Makhdoom Zain Hussain Qureshi bagged 46,963 votes to win the by-election against PML-N candidate Muhammad Salman Naeem who could secure only 40,104 votes.

More to follow…

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