BISHAM: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Shaukat Ali Yousafzai won the re-polling in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituency PK-23 Shangla by getting 39,290 votes. According to unofficial results, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Mohammad Rishad Khan was the runner-up with 22,545 votes.
The result was, therefore, no different than the outcome of the polling on July 25 when Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, a former provincial minister, had defeated Mohammad Rishad Khan, a former lawmaker from the constituency. Shaukat Ali Yousafzai on that occasion had polled 17,399 votes while Rishad Khan got 15,533 votes.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had declared the election held on July 25 in PK-23 as null and void as the turnout of the women voters was less than 10 percent.
Strict security arrangements had been made for the re-polling as Pakistan Army soldiers were deployed in the constituency. The PK-23 has a total of 200,555 registered voters, including 113,827 male and 86,728 female. The ECP had established 25 polling stations for men and 21 for women while 89 polling stations were combined.
A total of 202 polling booths were set up for men and 137 for women. Of the 135 polling stations, 18 were declared highly sensitive and 35 sensitive. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the dissident workers of Awami National Party (ANP) led by its former district president Haji Said Fareen supported Shaukat Ali Yousafzai in the election. The Awami Workers Party led by Fanoos Gujjar also openly backed the PTI candidate. Their argument for supporting Shaukat Ali Yousafzai was that the PTI government in the province and centre was in a better position to carry out development activities in under-developed Shangla district than the PML-N which during its rule failed to put Shangla on the path to progress.
PML-N candidate Mohammad Rishad Khan was supported by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). Meanwhile, a large number of PTI workers thronged the residence of Shaukat Ali Yousafzai to congratulate him on his election victory.
The workers holding party flags chanted slogans in favour of the PTI and Prime Minister Imran Khan. Talking to reporters, Shaukat Ali Yousafzai thanked the people of his constituency for reposing confidence in him for the second time during the recent weeks.
He said the people wanted the PTI to implement its reform agenda and bring about change.
The PTI leader said he would not let down his supporters and would work for the uplift of the remote Shangla district. He also thanked the workers of the other political parties who had supported him.