Initial trends show PML-N leading in several seats in Pakistan’s by-elections

Islamabad/Lahore: Initial trends from Pakistan’s by-election on Sunday showed that the ruling alliance led by Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N was leading on several seats.

Polling was held for 21 national and provincial seats in the by-elections, which took place amidst tight security and suspension of cellular and internet services in some districts of Punjab and Balochistan to maintain law and order.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), voting began at 8 am and continued without any break until 5 pm with the provision that voters present within the premises of polling stations would be allowed to cast votes even after the expiry of official timing.

Independent candidate Mubarak Zeb was leading in one National Assembly seat. SIC candidate Faisal Amin Khan was leading in one National Assembly seat. PPP was leading in one seat in National Assembly seat and one provincial assembly seat, according to preliminary results.

Major political parties, including the PML-N, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)- backed Sunni Ittehad Council and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) participated in the by-elections. Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party candidate Muhammad Shoaib Saddiqui won by-polls with 38,537 votes in PP-149.

The voting on the by-polls, held after the February 8 general elections, began at 8 am (local time) and concluded at 5 pm (local time).

During the polling process, Pakistan’s federal government suspended mobile phone services temporarily in several districts of Punjab and Balochistan. The decision was made to safeguard the integrity and security of the electoral process.

The government also deployed Pakistan Army and Civil Armed Forces (CAF) troops during the polling process. The forces were deployed at the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Geo News reported.

One PML-N worker, Muhammad Yousaf, died in Narowal, as workers of the PML-N and SIC clashed in several constituencies. According to police, the PML-N worker was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to injuries. The police further said that the polling was stopped in this constituency.

The by-polls were conducted on five National Assembly seats, 12 Punjab Assembly seats, two each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Assemblies and one in Sindh Assembly.

The five National Assembly Assembly seats comprise NA-132 (Punjab) and NA-196 (Sindh), NA-8, NA-44 (KP), NA-119 and NA-132 (Punjab). Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has won NA-207, the Nawabshah seat, from where Aseefa Bhutto Zardari has been elected unopposed, according to Geo News report.

The provincial assembly seats include PB-22 (Balochistan), PS-80 (Sindh), PK-22, PK-91 (KP) and PB-20. The Punjab Assembly seats where the by-elections were being held PP-149, PP-158, PP-164 (Lahore), PP-266 (Rahim Yar Khan), PP-32 (Gujrat), PP-36 (Wazirabad), PP-54 (Narowal), PP-93 (Bhakkar), PP-139 (Sheikhupura), PP-147 and PP-290 (Dera Ghazi Khan).