Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came out on top after a close contest with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in NA-249 (Karachi West-II) on Thursday.
According to unofficial results, PPP’s Abdul Qadir Mandokhel, in an unexpected turn off events, won the race against PML-N’s Miftah Ismail close behind.
The NA seat was created in 2018 by amalgamating neighbourhoods that previously fell in two Upper House constituencies — NA-239 and NA-240 — during three general elections between 2002 and 2013.
The constituency, with 339,591 registered voters, has emerged to be a highly contested seat with candidates belonging to almost every major political party fighting for it.
Prominent candidates in the run were Miftah of PML-N, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Syed Mustafa Kamal, Amjad Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Qadir of PPP, Mohammad Mursaleen of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Mufti Nazeer Ahmed Kamalvi of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Contrary to pre-poll surveys, the PTI was unable to reclaim the seat fallen vacant after Faisal Vawda’s resignation.
The PTI, instead, couldn’t even make it to top three.
Earlier, when Miftah was in the lead, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz claimed that the “masses know who exactly is responsible for their troubles and woes”.
“I have said it earlier and I will say it again, Imran Khan and PTI will not be able to campaign and if they do, this is how they will be welcomed,” she said.
Her remarks were in response to a video shared by former journalist Talat Hussain showing PTI candidate for NA-249 Amjad Afridi being heckled by voters of the constituency.
Earlier, taking strict notice of PTI lawmakers’ presence in the NA-249 constituency during the by-poll, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) directed them to leave.
According to details, six PTI MPs Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Raja Azhar, Saeed Afridi, Bilal Ghaffar, Shah Nawaz Jadoon and Shahzad Awan were found to be violating the code of conduct by being present in the constituency during polling hours.
The ECP issued their expulsion orders, directing police to expel them from the constituency.
Since after the surprising turn of events, rigging allegations are pouring in against the ruling PPP of Sindh.