PP-84 Khushab by-election: PML-N likely to retain its seat – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has been unable to take advantage of the incumbency factor in all recent by-polls and is unlikely to claim victory in the elections in Khushab polling which is being held today.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is likely to retain its seat in by-election on a Punjab provincial assembly seat, PP-84 Khushab, the seat left vacant following PML-N MPA Malik Waris Kallu who died due to coronavirus and the party awarded the ticket to his son Barrister Muazzam Sher Kallu to contest the by-polls.

Background interviews reveal that the contest would be between PML-N’s Muazzam Sher Kallu and the PTI’s Ali Hussain Khan Baloch as Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP’s) candidate Ghulam Habib is not a popular and the party has a weak position in the constituency.

In the recent Daska and Wazirabad by-polls, the PPP had supported the PML-N candidates. After the election for the opposition leader in the Senate, the gulf between the two mainstream parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) widened.

On Tuesday Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), said that it has assigned rangers and police outside all the 229 polling stations in the constituency for security purposes and that a special control room has been set up to monitor the transmission of poll results.

The ECP had made similar claims ahead of the controversial by-election on National Assembly’s seat NA-249 Karachi West II held on April 29 that were rejected by most political parties that contested the poll.

Political commentators believe that PML-N is in a comfortable position and is likely to retain the seat.

Except for one National Assembly seat from Kurram tribal district, the ruling PTI has so far lost all the recent by-elections on the national as well as provincial assemblies seats which its critics and the political commentators attribute to its poor performance for almost three years in the power.

In February by-election, the PTI lost all the seats including its own PK-63 Nowshera and PP-51 Gujranwala-I, while it won only from NA-45 Kurram-I. Additionally, the ruling PTI also suffered a setback in Daska NA-75 when PML-N’s Nosheen Iftikhar won the high stakes Daska by-poll, defeating PTI’s Ali Asjad Malhi by 16,642 votes.

In the by-polls held on February 16, PPP had won from PS-88 Malir, Karachi, and PS-43, Sanghar, while PDM backed Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate Syed Azizullah Agha, won the PB-20 Pishin by-election, leaving all the candidates fielded by PTI and its alliance behind in the run.

On NA-249, Karachi West II, the PPP’s Qadir Khan Mandokhail emerged victorious by securing 16,156 votes in the by-election held on April 29. PML-N’s Miftah Ismail came in second with 15,473 votes, followed by the candidate from the recently banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Mufti Nazeer Ahmed Kamalvi, who secured 11,125 votes, unofficial results showed. PTI’s stood in fifth place as its candidate Amjad Afridi secured only with 8,922 votes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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