PML-N retains NA-133 seat in Lahore indirect ballot



LAHOR:

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) maintained its position in National Assembly constituency NA-133 by winning a by-election on Sunday for the fourth consecutive time.

According to the unofficial and unconfirmed results, PML-N candidate Shaista Pervaiz Malik won 46,811 votes and retained the NA-133 seat which was left vacant after the death of her husband Pervaiz Malik in October.

Unlike the 2018 general election results, the popularity of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) increased, with its candidate Aslam Gill securing 32,313 votes in Sunday’s indirect ballot. Previously, the party struggled to collect just over 5,000 votes.

A total of 11 candidates stood for the by-election, but significant competition was observed between the PML-N and PPP candidates. Voting began at 8 a.m. and continued until 5 p.m. without interruption, after which the doors to the polling stations were closed to voters.

In total, 254 polling stations were set up for 440,085 registered voters – 233,558 men and 206,927 women – including 22 category “A” polling stations, 198 category “B” and 34 category “C” polling stations. “.

No less than 200 separate polling stations were created for men and women, while 54 mixed polling stations were also set up.

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) were strictly followed at all polling stations. Voting remained largely peaceful, except for a few small brawls and taunts among PML-N and PPP workers in the Maryum and Kot Lakhpat settlement.

The PML-N and the PPP had organized transportation to bring voters from their homes. Both parties also offered food to their voters, workers and supporters during the poll. However, as the results started pouring in, party workers were seen celebrating the victory at the PML-N secretariat in the provincial capital. A fireworks display was organized and sweets were distributed to activists and supporters of the party.

Speaking to the media after the by-election results, PML-N leader Khawaja Imran Nazir said the citizens of Lahore had rejected the “money policy”. Although he paid millions of rupees, he alleged that the PPP did not get support.

Ali Pervaiz Malik said PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari tried to rig the election by handing out millions to voters. Zardari’s electoral strategy had ruined the policies of the founder of the PPP, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

He urged the PPP to reconsider its electoral strategy, declaring that “if they continue with this policy, Bilawal’s policy in Punjab will be buried”.

Imran Nazir of the PML-N said his party had filed a complaint with the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP), which has already formed a committee to investigate the “vote swapping” incidents.

Meanwhile, reacting to the NA-133 by-election, Punjab government spokesman Hasaan Khawar said the “money policy” failed in the NA-133 by-election. .

He added that despite paying large sums of money to buy votes, the overall voter turnout in the constituency remained very low.

“It reflects how much these elements were hated by the people. Now the PML-N and the PPP are fully aware that their old rigging tactics will no longer work, ”he added.

Even after today’s electoral situation, he said, if the Pakistani Democratic Movement (PDM) wanted to indulge its passion, it should do so because few people will join them in protesting.

National Assembly constituency NA-133 mainly includes low and middle income neighborhoods including Liaqatabad, Model Town Ext (Q, R and S blocks), Pindi Rajputan, Ismail Nagar, Kot Lakhpat, Chungi Amar Sadhu, Teharta Pind , Bagrian, Green Town, Township, Maryam Colony, Sitara Colony, Farid Colony, Model Colony, Bahar Colony, Ittefaq Factor, Peco Road, Wafaqi Colony and Johar Town.

Security measures

The government of the Punjab had authorized the deployment of Rangers for the security of the electoral process.

Pakistan’s Election Commission, on the other hand, has made strict arrangements to thwart any untoward incidents, including any attempt to rig the elections.

The ECP said control rooms have been set up in the ECP office in Lahore and in the district returning office to ensure a smooth voting process. He said the control rooms would remain active until the compilation of election results.

The statement said the voting process went smoothly, adding that no complaints about any irregularities have been received so far.



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