The result of the NA-249 By-elections was among the most anticipated news story yesterday as different political parties wanted to claim their credibility in the largest city of Pakistan. The seat held previously by PTI’s Faisal Vawda, came into contention as Mr. Vawda chose to resign following the dual nationality controversy and joined the upper house of the bicameral legislature.
PML-N fielded a strong candidate in Dr. Miftah Ismail, the former Finance Minister of Pakistan against PPP’s Qadir Khan Mandokhel and PTI’s Amjad Iqbal Afridi. According to today, the official results released PPP’s candidate won the election.
PPP’s candidate won after securing 16,156 votes, with PML-N coming a close second with 15,473 votes. The least votes among the major parties contesting in the constituency were secured by the ruling party gaining only 8,922 votes.
However, PML-N and PTI have both rejected the results of the by-election. While talking to GVS, PML-N’s Miftah Ismail has termed the election as “not over”.
Read More: The government’s futile campaign against ECP
According to the Former Finance minister, the By-election suffered many irregularities. He talked about how the results came in extremely late even when the turnout was exceptionally low.
It is worth mentioning here according to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the official turnout in this election was 21.64%, where out of the 339,591 registered voters only 73,471 people voted in the election.
Mr. Ismail told GVS how according to the ECP, the returning officers are supposed to inform the regulatory body about the results of the election right away by sending a message. However, allegedly 34 of the 276 polling stations did not send the message to the ECP.
Muftah Ismail also said, “the results for the small election, where each polling station had as few as two hundred votes were delayed till eleven to twelve at night.” He added, “the difference between the constituency and the regulatory authority’s office was only half an hour, and the presiding officers reached there late in the night when the counting began around 6 PM.
Referring to the provisional results that were announced yesterday, the PML-N’s candidate said that he was ahead in the polling till 190 out of 276 poling stations’ result was announced. He claimed it “very unusual” that he was leading until that point and began losing after, pointing to the fact that the later polls were rigged in favor of the PPP’s candidate.
PML-N thus has approached the Election Commission for a recount. PML-N’s official party brief to media also resonates with the points raised by their candidate in discussion with GVS.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif also went to Twitter to declare that the election in NA 249 as ‘stolen from PML-N’. She said the defeat would only be accepted if it is the decision of the electorates, but the decision as an outcome of “theft and rigging” would be fought till the end.
الیکشن میں شکست اگر عوام کے فیصلے کی وجہ سے ہوگی تو سرِ تسلیم خم ہوگا۔ مگر بکسہ چوری اور دھاندلی سے ہونے والا ہر فیصلے کا آخر تک مقابلہ کیا جائے گا۔
Make no mistake about it
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 30, 2021
The ruling Party cries foul too!
PTI also rejected the election putting the claim of corruption at the forefront as an excuse for what some on Twitter are referring to as a “wake-up call” for the party.
Pakistan’s Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi, quoted the Russian totalitarian ruler Joseph Stalin to explain the election. He said, “It is obvious to all that the crooked PPP & the Provincial Election Commission are hands in glove in this mess!”
It is obvious to all that the crooked PPP & the Provincial Election Commission are hand in glove in this mess!
— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) April 29, 2021
Similarly, the Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that PPP had taken the entire system hostage for a single seat. He said, “Once again I urge the opposition to consider Prime Minister Imran Khan’s suggestion. The voting percentage shows that the people are losing faith in the process.”
Read More: TLP won by-election NA-249?
Meanwhile, PPP’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto went to Twitter to call the NA 249 By-election a “historic victory”, and congratulated his party for doing well in the election.