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October 15, 2018
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PTI faces whitewash in Lahore by-polls

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October 15, 2018

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf faced a whitewash as the PML-N comfortably won all the four seats in Lahore in the by-polls on Sunday.

The major setback to the PTI came in NA-131, the seat vacated by Prime Minister Imran Khan where the PML-N candidate Khawaja Saad Rafique emerged victorious against PTI candidate Humayon Akhter with a margin of around 10,000 votes.

On all the four vacant seats of Lahore NA-124, NA-131, PP-164 and PP-165, the PML-N proved its ballot strength despite a low turnout as compared to the July 25 general elections. From NA-124, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was leading with a margin of more than 45,000 votes against PTI’s Ghulam Mohayuddin Diwan. Abbasi secured around 75,000 votes whereas Diwan took around 30,000 votes.

PML-N workers in large numbers gathered at the residence of MPA Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman where the unofficial results were announced. In his victory speech, Abbasi thanked voters and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to tell who the incharge of polling stations was during the poll process. Demanding the immediate resignation of the chief election commissioner, he said he must go home gracefully over his failure in holding fair polls. He said his leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were not given justice but were politically victimised. The PML-N braved hardships in the Musharraf era and Imran Niazi stood nowhere before it.

From NA-131, the seat that the PTI won in the July 25 polls, it suffered defeat on the hands of the PML-N. According to the unofficial results till the filing of this report, Saad Rafique won the seat, securing around 60,000 votes against 50,000 of Humayon Akhter.

Saad reached the Election Commission office and protested against the delay in issuance of poll results. In his victory speech, he thanked God and expressed gratitude to PML-N supporters as well as its allies like the PPP and the MMA which supported the PML-N candidate in the contest. Saad stated that the PML-N proved its ballot strength in the by-polls as it won from Attock, Faisalabad and Pindi where, he alleged, Sheikh Rasheed was using his influence to save his relative from defeat.

PML-N leaders including Pervaiz Malik, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Lord Mayor Lahore Col (Retd) Mubashir, newly-elected MPAs Sohail Shaukat and Saiful Malook were present on the occasion.

On two provincial seats of Lahore belonging to rural parts PP-164 and PP-165, PML-N candidates Sohail Shaukat Butt and Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar were leading with a significant margin. From PP-164, Sohail Shaukat Butt was winning with a margin of around 8,000 votes against Yusuf Ali of the PTI. Sohail Shaukat, who was also elected an MNA from the same area in 2013, won the PP-164 seat vacated by Shahbaz Sharif while getting around 32, 000 votes against approximately 24, 000 votes of PTI’s Yusuf Ali.

The PML-N secured victory in PP-165 from where one of its former MPAs Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar emerged victorious with a margin of around 4, 000 votes against another former MPA Chaudhry Mansha Sandhu who was contesting on the PTI ticket. Malik Saif got around 28,000 votes followed by over 24,000 secured by Mansha Sandhu.

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