PTI candidate loses by 19,000 votes
PML-N’s Nosheen Iftikhar has won Daska NA-75 re-election with a lead of more than 19,000 votes over PTI’s Ali Asjad Malhi, according to the complete unofficial results.
According to results of the 360 polling stations, the PML-N candidate secured 111,220 votes, while the PTI candidate got 92,019.
The tensions in the constituency were visible as the PTI candidate Malhi wrote a letter to the ECP complaining about PML-N lawmakers visiting the polling stations with their armed guards.
He said the PML-N leader tried to spread fear amongst the voters which is a clear violation of the electoral body’s code of conduct, he said.
Malhi added that if any violent incident is reported at any polling station, the PML-N and ECP will be responsible for it.
The workers of the PML-N and PTI were seen chanting slogans against each other when Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar visited a polling station in the afternoon.
At least nine people were arrested outside the polling station 17. An FIR has been registered against them. The suspects were supporters of the PTI and PML-N.
On Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan issued show-cause notices to PTI’s Firdous Ashiq Awan and PML-Q Vice-President Chaudhry Saleem.
A notification issued by the electoral body said that the leaders visited Daska on April 9 and announced a development package for the constituency which is a “clear violation of Para 42 of the Code of Conduct issued by ECP”.
According to the code, political parties, candidates, their supporters or elected representatives cannot announced or inaugurate development schemes or do anything which “tends to influence results of an election in favor of or against a particular candidate or election or political party after the announcement of the elections till the day of polling”.
The leaders have been given two days to submit their replies.
Sialkot’s NA-75 seat fell vacant after PML-N MNA Iftikharul Hassan Shah died of a heart attack in August 2020. He was also a member of the standing committees on Interior and Narcotics Control and National Food Security and Research.
Shah was appointed MNA from the area thrice. He won the seat after securing 40,042 votes during the 2018 General Election.
The constituency is known as a PML-N stronghold. Shah’s daughter contested the by-election on the party’s ticket.
The by-election on the vacant seat was held on February 19 before the 2021 Senate Election. The results were, however, challenged by the members of the opposition. The PML-N accused the PTI of attempting to rig the elections after some presiding members ‘went missing‘ during the vote count. The officers came to the ECP on February 20 morning with the results and claimed that they left early because the fog was too dense.
The PML-N challenged the results in the Election Commission and the electoral body ordered re-polling in the entire constituency.
PTI’s Asjad Ali Malhi, who contested the by-election, approached the Supreme Court and challenged the ECP’s February 25 decision. He said that the commission did not review the record completely and its decision is not based on facts. The verdict should, therefore, be declared null and void. His petition was dismissed.
The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 494,000.
Three hundred and 60 polling stations have been set up, of which 47 have been declared sensitive.
Over 4,000 police officers have been deployed, along with 1,048 Rangers personnel and 10 teams of the Pakistan Army Quick Response Force.
There is a complete ban of display of ammunition in the election. Section 144 has been imposed.