PML-N candidate records upset victory in NA-154 Lodhran by-election

PML-N candidate records upset victory in NA-154 Lodhran by-election

LODHRAN: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Pir Iqbal Shah has pulled off a stunning upset victory against the favorite PTI in the by-election of NA-154, Lodhran, unofficial results show.
According to results received from all 338 polling stations, PML-N’s Pir Iqbal Shah bagged 116,590 votes with an overall lead of 25,160 votes against PTI candidate Ali Khan Tareen who stood second with 91,230 votes.
Tareen, son of disqualified MNA Jahangir Khan Tareen, was widely tipped to win the contest with a big margin.
An independent candidate backed by religious group Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah is third in the race with 10, 227 votes while PPP candidate Ali Baig Mirza has secured 3, 181 votes.
Imran Khan’s spokesman Naeem ul Haq conceded defeat and congratulated the PML-N for their victory. To a question, he said that nobody wanted to contest the by-election for only three months as the government’s term was going to end in June.
According to an ECP official, 45 percent registered voters exercised their right to vote in the National Assembly’s constituency.
Abrar Ahmed Jatoi, district election commissioner, said that election was held in a peaceful and transparent manner. “Not a single complaint of rigging was received from anywhere in the constituency due to the presence of troops at polling stations,” he said.
Mr Jatoi said that all departments worked together to ensure election was conducted in a transparent manner.
Lodhran NA-154 by-election was organised after Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) disqualified Member of National Assembly (MNA) Jahangir Khan Tareen in a corruption probe in January.
Ali Mirza Baig of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has secured 3,148 votes while Malik Azhar of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) has obtained 10,114 votes, according to the unofficial results so far.
Both the candidates were fined for violating the code of conduct during polling in the Lodhran by-elections. Tareen was fined Rs 40,000 by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) while Shah was directed to submit Rs 50,000 as penalty.
According to a notification issued in this regard, Shah was fined because “as per reports received in the office of the DRO, Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju MNA/Minister of State appeared to have attended/addressed corner meetings for promoting election campaign of Muhammad Iqbal Shah.”
Ali Tareen was fined because “2018 Election Commission’s Monitoring Team reported to the undersigned that Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Murad Saeed and Sheikh Rasheed (all MNA’s) attended and addressed a gathering in the constituency in the presence of Ali Khan Tareen.”
Ex-secretary general of PTI Jahangir Khan Tareen was disqualified on January 6 as the apex court delivered its verdict in assets beyond means petitions against PTI chief Imran Khan and Tareen.
Imran Khan was able to retain his National Assembly (NA) seat unlike his political rival PML-N president Nawaz Sharif in a like probe. However, Jahangir Tareen, elected to the NA in General Elections 2013 from Lodhran NA-154 constituency, was disqualified in the case.
The party issued ticket to Ali Khan Tareen, son of the disqualified lawmaker to contest the NA seat against Iqbal Shah among other candidates in the by-poll held today.


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