Friday Apr 30, 2021
LAHORE: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Friday alleged the NA-249 by-election was stolen from the party after unofficial results showed PPP's Qadir Khan Mandokhail winning the election by a margin of just 683 votes.
The unofficial election results were announced after 11 hours while the voter turn out was measured at 21.64%.
In a statement on Twitter, Maryam said the election was stolen from PML-N by only a few hundred votes.
"ECP must withhold the results of one of the most disputed & controversial elections. Even if it doesn’t, this victory will be temporary and will Insha’Allah come back to PML-N soon."
She added that the "vote is getting respect and will continue to receive it".
Later, PML-N leader and former PM Nawaz Sharif's spokesperson, Mohammad Zubair said the party would challenge the election results and added that the results of 80 polling stations had been altered.
"We have requested the Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard," he said.
PPP's Abdul Qadir Mandokhel bagged 16,156 votes to win the seat, followed by PML-N's Miftah Ismail who secured 15,473, unofficial results from polling stations showed. While Nazir Ahmed of outlawed TLP trailed on the third position by receiving 11,125 votes.
PSP's Mustafa Kamal could acquire only 9,227 votes, followed by PTI's Amjad Afridi with 8,922 votes and MQM-P's Muhammed Mursaleen with 7,511 votes.
Both parties had claimed victory for their candidates mid-way into counting, capturing the attention of audiences awaiting results.
The PML-N pulled no punches in blaming the PPP for attempting to rig the result, saying they would not accept the result without challenging the Election Commission.
After the final count was announced, the PML-N's Maryam Nawaz said the election had been "stolen" from her party.
"The Election Commission should have withheld the results of this controversial election," she said.
"Even if it doesn't withhold the result, this win will be temporary. This seat will return to PML-N soon," Maryam claimed.
Meanwhile, the ECP assured that all complaints will be heard in light of the law and if any evidence of irregularity is found, strict action will be taken.
The remaining prominent candidates of the 30 total contesting were the banned TLP's Nazeer Ahmed, who for the most part maintained third place, followed by PTI candidate Amjad Iqbal Afridi, former Karachi mayor and PSP candidate Mustafa Kamal, and MQM-P candidate Hafiz Muhammad Mursaleen.