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February 21, 2008

Recount may change 12 NA results

Money Matters

Tariq Ahmed Saeedi
February 21, 2008

ISLAMABAD: The fate of over a dozen newly-elected members of the National Assembly may change because of recounting of votes sought by losers and the possible inclusion of postal ballots in the tally.

There are many candidates of the National Assembly who have won the contest by a very close margin. A senior official of the Election Commission of Pakistan told The News that the postal ballots were only counted where their total number exceeded the difference of votes among the candidates contesting the polls.

Some of the close contests include the polls in NA-12 Swabi where, according to unofficial results, Awami National Party's leader Asfandyar Wali Khan has been defeated by Eng Usman Khan Tarkai, an independent candidate with a margin of only 89 votes.

Asfandyar Wali got 49,652 votes in comparison with Eng Usman Khan Tarkai's 49,741 votes. Asfandyar Wali has filed an application of recounting with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and another National Assembly seat might fall in the lap of ANP in Swabi. Former president Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari might also follow the destiny of his son, who now joins the list of PML-Q ministers who have lost the polls.

The ECP has also announced to hold re-polling in NA-172 at a polling station of Fort Manro, Dera Ghazi Khan, where there were reports of snatching of ballot papers. There are 2,200 votes registered at that polling station and the destiny of the former president of the country is linked to the results of that polling station.

In NA-20 Mansehra-I, Sardar Shah Jehan Yousuf of Pakistan Muslim League-Q got 72,299 votes and was declared successful whereas his opponent Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Salahuddin Tirmizi of the Pakistan Muslim League-N obtained 72,168 votes, perhaps losing by only 131 votes. Recounting may turn the result the other way round.

Another close contest was witnessed at NA-23 Kohistan where Haji Misar Khan of Pakistan Peopleís Party has been

declared victorious who got 7,982 votes whereas an independent candidate Mahboobullah secured 7,454. There is a difference of only 528 votes.

In NA-49 Islamabad-II, Dr Chaudhry Tariq Fazal of PML-N defeated Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari of PPP by a margin of 758 votes. PML-N got 45,482 and PPP 44,726 votes and the PPP candidate has filed an application of recounting and the result might be changed at the end of the day.

Malik Ameen Aslam, an independent candidate, lost to Sheikh Aftab of PML-N with a close margin of 299 votes in NA-57 (Attock-I). PML-N's Sheikh Aftab obtained 38,610 votes whereas Malik Ameen Aslam Khan bagged 38,311 votes.

Another close contest was observed at NA-61 Chakwal-II where ex-chief minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi lost to PML-N's Faiz Tamman with a margin of 331 votes. Faiz Tamman secured 91,979 votes against Pervaiz Elahi's 91,648 votes.

The results of NA-65 Sargodha-II might also be changed where PML-Q's candidate has been declared successful with a margin of 211 votes. Ghais Ahmed Mela had contested the February 18 polls on the ticket of PML-Q, getting 53,387 votes while PPP contender Meher Khaliq Yar Khan Lak secured 53,176 votes.

Sumaira Malik of PML-Q also had a narrow escape at NA-69 Khushab-I and defeated his opponent with a margin of 748 votes. She obtained 57,903 votes whereas her independent opponent Umer Aslam Khan got 53,155 votes.

Multan has also witnessed a close contest in NA-153 where PML-Q's Dewan Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari received 69,245 votes against independent candidate Rana M Qasim Noon, who secured 68,760 votes, perhaps winning by only 485 votes. In NA-173 Dera Ghazi Khan-III, former federal minister for information technology Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari has been defeated by PML-N's Salahuddin Khosa by a margin of 378 votes. The former minister got 55,953 votes while Khosa obtained 56,331 votes.

Another close contest was witnessed at NA-262 Qila Abdullah where MMA's Haji Rozuddin defeated ANP's Malik M Usman Achakzai with a margin of only 162 votes. MMA got 4,362 votes and ANP 4,200 votes.

The losing contestants in NA-83, NA-146, NA-157 and NA-158 are also very close to the winners and there is a margin of a thousand votes between the winner and the loser.

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