CHAKWAL: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Haider Sultan won the by-election in PP-20 Chakwal-I by bagging 75,934 votes, according to a notification issued by returning officer.
Sultan was followed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) nominee Tariq Afzal, who secured 46,025 votes.
On the other hand, the candidate of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, Chaudhry Nasir Abbas, secured 16,576 votes.
The returning officer also confirmed that 227 polling stations were established in the constituency, adding that the number of registered voters was 279,530.
The registered number of women voters was 135,339, while there were 144,191 male voters.
The Punjab Assembly seat fell vacant following the death of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Liaquat Ali Khan.
The process of voting started at 8am and continued until 5pm on Tuesday.
The by-election was seen as a test for the ruling party as the constituency has long been a PML-N stronghold, while it was also expected to serve as a curtain-raiser for the general elections later this year.
Maryam hails ‘people’s verdict’
On Tuesday, the PML-N candidate was declared victorious as per unverified and unofficial results.
Reacting to PML-N’s victory, Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif, said, “The one favoured by the Almighty and the people cannot be eliminated by anyone.”
“The court of the people once again announced its verdict as to who qualifies and who does not! All the conspirators together could not face the PML-N,” she said in a series of tweets, after announcement of unofficial and unconfirmed results from all polling stations in PP-20 Chakwal-1.
“The will of the people is like a stream of running water, it carves its own way, cutting through any obstacle that comes in its way!” she said further.
“We bow our heads in gratitude to Allah for bestowing yet another victory upon us & humbly thank the people of Chakwal.”
Moreover, Cheif Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, remarked that the people have rejected the politics on levelling allegations.
1,200 police personnel deployed for security
This was Sultan’s first attempt at a provincial assembly seat, however, his family has held the PP-20 seat since 1985, losing it only once in the 2002 elections.
PTI’s Afzal contested an MPA seat for the first time, but he also had support from the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
Speaking to media earlier, DPO Haroon Joya said that over 1,200 police personnel were deployed for security duty, with officials of Rangers on standby.
He added that 51 polling stations were declared sensitive.
Rangers and police have been deployed at the polling stations to ensure security.
Previously, the Election Commission of Pakistan had issued a notice to Sultan for violating the rules by holding a public gathering, despite the end of the election campaign.
Heads of both the PML-N and PTI held rallies in the constituency ahead of the by-election.
PTI chief Imran Khan addressed a rally on January 6 while PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif addressed a gathering of tribal elders in Chakwal on January 8.
Vehicle carrying polling staffers plunges into ravine
Following the by-election, a vehicle carrying polling staff plunged into a ravine on its way back from the constituency.
The incident left nine people, including four women, injured, according to media reported.
Those injured included presiding officer, Rangers and police personnel, media reported. They were shifted to District Headquarter Hospital Chakwal.