PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has won the by-election of NA-4, Peshawar, by a big margin of over 22, 000 votes, SAMAA reported.
According to final results obtained from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), PTI candidate Arbab Amir Ayub got 47, 586 votes followed by PML-N's Nasir Khan Musazai who bagged 25, 267 votes.
Khushdil Khan of ANP was third with 25, 143 votes. PPP’s Asad Gulzar Khan stood fourth with 12, 014 votes while JI candidate Wasil Farooq received 6, 337 votes.
On the other hand, Dr Shafique Ameeni, an independent candidate who was backed by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), also managed to get 8, 218 votes in their maiden election in the provincial capital.
Speaking exclusively to SAMAA, PTI's winning candidate Arbab Amir Ayub said that nobody can beat the passion of his workers.
The National Assembly seat had fallen vacant after the demise of PTI's MNA Gulzar Khan.
Youth dies in celebratory fire
According to reports, a teenage boy identified as Hayat died as a result of celebratory firing.
Apart from some minor clashes, polling remained peaceful throughout the day.
Clashes between workers of Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) erupted in Chuvan Gujjar area after a scuffle between some kids.
In another area, a worker of the Pakistan Peoples Party displayed a weapon at a polling station. This blatant violation of the law happened in UC-26 of Peshawar.
In the Phandu area of Peshawar, workers and supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) shouted slogans against each other during the polling activities.
Disappointed by the performance of different parties, residents of UC-56 are boycotting the by-election. "We have been voting for 70 years but to no avail," said one resident. "Our issues are ignored."
According to observers, the NA-4 by-polls will prove to be a litmus test for gauging the popularity of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) October 26, 2017
The seat fell vacant after the death of dissident PTI MNA Gulzar Khan on August 28.
According to reports, voter turnout appeared to be strong while people began lining up outside polling stations as early as 7:30am. Polling will continue till 5pm amid tight security. Public holiday has been declared in Peshawar.
Female voter turnout was huge. A female voter present at a polling station told Samaa that more women will step out of their homes to cast votes as the day passes by. "I have never seen so many women cast votes ever in my life," said a woman.
People with special needs also headed towards polling stations.
According to an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan, 14 candidates representing both major and minor political parties are vying for the seat. Election campaign ended at midnight on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, political parties set up camps in the constituency to facilitate voters, while a large number of media teams reached the city to cover the by-election of crucial importance.
Candidates of major political parties include Nasir Khan Musazai from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Asad Gulzar Khan from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Arbab Amir Ayub from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Khushdil Khan from Awami National Party (ANP).
— Dr Nauman (@naumanulhaqkhan) October 25, 2017
The constituency has 397, 904 registered votes - 235,164 of these are male while 162,740 are female.
— PML(N) (@pmln_org) October 25, 2017
As many as 269 polling stations including 147 male, 111 female and 11 combined polling stations have been set up in the constituency. In total, 837 polling booths, 492 male and 345 female pooling booths had been set up by the ECP.
As many as 269 Presiding Officer, 837 Assistant Presiding Officers and 837 Polling Officers are serving on the polling day.
Electronic Voting Machines
Moreover, the commission is using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the Peshawar by-election on trial basis in 39 polling stations. The processing time of casting one vote through these machines would take 20 seconds, adding this new technology was being introduced in by-election to examine the performance and functioning of the machines and to record voters’ problems in using this technology.
According to the ECP, there would be no effect on the result of by-election with use of these machines as this was just a pilot project.
The commission would compile its report after use of these machines in Peshawar by-election and submit it to the parliament, adding under article-103 of new election act 2017, EVM machines would be used as pilot project.
According to the ECP, 7,000 policemen have been deployed while 1,700 personnel of Pakistan Army are performing security duty.
On Wednesday, the ECP director general administration and provincial election commissioner visited polling stations in the area to check preparations for the by-election.
Meanwhile, the ECP has empowered all presiding officers to exercise the powers of first class magistrate to prevent any untoward incident.
Constituency's composition and history
The NA-4 constituency consists of 26 local bodies wards. Peshawar has four National Assembly and 11 provincial assembly seats. In the 2013 general election, the PTI had swept all the four NA seats and 10 of the 11 provincial assembly seats.
However, when Imran Khan vacated the NA-1 seat (Peshawar city), Ghulam Ahmed Bilour of the ANP won it in the by-election months after the installation of the PTI government in K-P.
The PTI had won the NA-4 seat in 2013 by a big margin of 34,722 votes. The party’s candidate Gulzar Khan had received 55,134 votes while the runner-up, Nasir Khan Mosazai of the PML-N, got 20,412. The Jamaat’s Sabir Hussain Awan came third with 16,493 votes.