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February 13, 2018

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Nawaz claws back Lodhran from Imran

MULTAN/LAHORE: The PML-N clean bowled the PTI in NA-154 Lodhran by-election with a huge margin of 27,000 votes amid less than 50 per cent turnout on Monday, according to unofficial and unconfirmed results.

The jubilant PML-N workers celebrated their victory at the residence of party candidate Iqbal Shah. The slot fell vacant after the disqualification of PTI secretary-general Jehangir Tareen. His son Ali Tareen was fielded by the party for the contest but he lost in his hometown.

According to the unofficial results, the PML-N candidate received 113,230 votes against 85,690 of his PTI rival. Mirza Ali Baig of PPP could only manage 3,170 votes, while Tehreek Labaik nominee Azhar Sandila remained bagged 10, 227 votes. Seven independent candidates were also in the race for NA-154.

The ECP had established 1,043 polling booths at 338 polling stations for more than 431,000 registered voters – 236,000 male and 194,000 female voters. The government had deployed 4,000 security personnel, including army, in the constituency to ensure free and fair elections as well as to main law and order.

Earlier in the day, Jahangir Tareen told media after casting his vote, that there was no possibility of rigging in the by-election with the presence of army personnel outside polling stations. He said the PTI would the ECP’s notice over violating code of conduct and alleged that the Election Commission did not take any notice when the PML-N legislators were running the campaign for their candidate.

Jahangir said he would accept the by-poll result, but expressed his confidence the PTI candidate was going to surely defeat his opponents. His statement about the ECP came as the district returning officer had imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 and Rs 30,000 on Ali and Shah respectively for violating the by-election code of conduct by engaging in political campaigning after the deadline.

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