PPP wins NA-249 with narrow margin

April 30, 2021 07:36 AM

PPP candidate Qadir Khan Mandokhel has been declared winner in the tightly contested by-election of NA-249 by bagging 16,156 votes and defeating PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail with a narrow margin of 683 votes, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday. 

RDO Nadeem Haider has announced the results of 276 polling stations of NA-249. 

According to the results, PPP candidate got 16,156 votes followed by PML-N’s Miftah Ismail who secured 15,473. Mufti Nazir of banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan got 11,125 votes and remained on third position. Pak Sar Zameen Party candidate Mustafa Kamal bagged 9,227 votes, PTI candidate Amjad Afridi obtained 8,922 and MQM candidate Muhammad Mursaleen achieved 7,511 votes. 

The turnout remained 21.64% according to Form 47. Total 73,471 votes were cast in which 2,212 votes were cast by females and 50,259 votes by males. The number of correct votes was 72,740 and 731 votes were rejected.

Bilawal over the moon

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was over the moon over the party candidate’s victory in NA-249 by-election. In a tweet, Bilawal thanked the people of Karachi for voting for the PPP.

PML-N, PTI term NA-249 result foul 

Both PML-N and PTI rejected the results of the poll terming it disputed and foul. 

The vote count started in a smooth manner. It looked like PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail was leading the polls. Overjoyed PML-N leaders and supporters even started celebrating their candidate’s win. Even Maryam Nawaz claimed Miftah’s victory in her tweet.  

But later, as more results poured in, they started tilting to PPP candidate Mandokhel’s favour. Frustrated over the results, the PML-N supporters accused the administration of halting results from various polling stations and two polling staff had gone without submitting results. 

In a statement, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif thanked the people of NA-249 and congratulated Miftah Ismail for putting up a courageous show. He patted on the back of the PML-N candidate, saying he paid tribute to Miftah for working so hard day and night.

Shehbaz said “I hope Election Commission will do justice and will look into how Miftah’s victory was turned into a defeat. Everybody saw it.”

He said they will continue to raise the voice about the problems being faced by the people of NA-249. He again praised the whole PML-N’s Karachi team for putting up such a remarkable performance in the by-election.

PML-N Vice-President Maryam in her late-night tweet said that PML-N was an obvious winner in NA 249. But all of a sudden, results were stopped for some time and then there came an obvious difference in the results. She warned that if anyone dared change the results, the PML-N won’t let him swallow this seat. The party knows how to get its right.

She wondered why counting of votes continued till late into the night when the turnout wasn’t high, it was barely 15-18%. "Was it foggy here too which caused election staff to get delayed? Do they think we are fools?" she tweeted in a reference to controversial NA-75 Daska by-poll.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that the way the PPP had made the entire system a hostage to win just one seat, it had made him realize the need to urgently introduce election reforms.

He asked to consider prime minister’s proposals in this regard. Seeing the low turnout, I once again urge the opposition to consider the proposals as people have lost their confidence in elections, he tweeted.

Earlier, Pakistan Sarzameen Party (PSP) has blamed the presiding officer for getting signed the blank Form 45 from the election agents at polling station number 109 of NA-249 hours before the polling was yet to close.

Form 45 is usually signed by the polling agents after completion of the counting of votes. Polling ended for the National Assembly’s constituency 249 of Karachi which had fallen vacant after the resignation of PTI’s Faisal Vawda. The voting was largely peaceful.

PSP General Secretary Hassaan Sabir said they had proof of delinquency by the presiding officer of the polling station number 109. He said they had already lodged a complaint against the presiding officer to the high-ups. He said the presiding officer got the Form 45 signed around 2:00 PM, much earlier than the ending of the polling time.

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan took strict notice of PTI lawmakers’ presence in the constituency during the polling hours. According to the details, six PTI MPs including Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Raja Azhar, Saeed Afridi, Bilal Ghaffar, Shah Nawaz Jadoon and Shahzad Awan were found to be violating the code of conduct by being present in the constituency during the polling hours.

The ECP has issued their expulsion orders, directing police to expel them from the constituency. Earlier, the polling started at 8am on Thursday and will continue till 5pm. Strict security measures have been adopted for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the election. Police parties keep patrolling different polling stations of the constituency to maintain order.

SSP Kimrani Fida Janwari inspected the polling stations in Baldia. He said strict security measures have been made in the sensitive polling stations. All major political parties including ruling PTI, PPP, PML-N, PSP and MQM are taking part in the by-polls. A knife edge competition is expected among the contesting parties.

District returning officer Syed Nadeem said the ballot boxes will be delivered to the election commission office in the ECP-provided vehicles under the surveillance of police parties. All presiding officers are required to keep their GPS location on and the ECP will do their live monitoring. The presiding officers will hand over Form 45 and Form 46 after obtaining signatures from the polling agents.

Thirty participants are taking part in NA 249 by-polls. The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Senator Faisal Vawda. He resigned from the national assembly seat on dual nationality issue and became senator after contesting Senate elections.

276 polling stations have been set up in NA 249 of which 67 have been declared very sensitive. The number of polling booths is 796. The number of total registered voters in the constituency is 339,591. There are 210,056 male voters and female voters’ number is 137,935.

Reporter Iqtidar Anwar

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