The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 258,233
The NA-168 seat became vacant after MNA Azeem Daultana of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) died in a car accident. The ticket was initially given to Aqeela Daultana, grandmother of Azeem, but was finally awarded to his sister Natasha Daultana.
The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 258,233. Some 239 polling stations and 641 polling booths were set up. Bilal Akbar Bhatti was the other candidate who was given the ticket of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).He had earlier contested as an independent candidate. The contest was not supposed to be a close one as people sympathised with Daultana.
However, during a firing incident in polling station number 13 in Daad Cameera, one polling agent of PPP, Muhammad Ismail was injured who was shifted to the District Headquarters (DHQ), Vehari.
Police immediately surrounded the station and later handed it over to the Rangers. Seven people were initially arrested, but were later released. Another polling station, 571 E-B witnessed protests because of alleged stamping of ballot papers by PPP officials and polling remained suspended for some time.
The polling had been processed by District Police Officer (DPO) Nasir Ali Rizvi who brought the situation under control, by deploying over 1,500 police and Rangers personnel.
The constituency comprises all rural areas, including Maachiwaal, Sahu Kaar and Deewan Sahib. Initial estimates suggested that Bilal Akbar Bhatti had been defeated by Natasha Daultana with a 5,000 point lead.
Seat became vacant following the resignation of ANP lawmaker Khawaja Mohammad Khan Hoti who joined PTI
The NA-9 seat became vacant following the resignation of Awami National Party (ANP) lawmaker Khawaja Mohammad Khan Hoti, who joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
The ANP candidate, Himayatullah Mayar, was ahead of his competitor Maulana Shujaul Mulk of the Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI-F), with over 2,000 votes in the by-elections.
According to unofficial results of about 75 polling stations out of a total of 214, Mayar secured 10,050 votes, while Mulk secured about 7,500 votes.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) estimated that the constituency has almost 250,461 registered voters, of which, approximately 152,114 are men and 98,345 women.
According to locals, firing took place at Mayar’s election office. There were reports of a man being killed in the firing; however, media reports later said that the man was killed due to personal dispute.
Locals also said that females were not allowed to vote in three union councils of the NA-9: Khazana Dheri, Mahu Dheri and Chamatar.
Pakistan Peoples Party and ANP, who are ruling allies in the province, are supporting Mayar against Mulk. Both the JUI-F and ANP are taking this election as a test case of their position in the province.
The NA-148 seat in Multan became vacant after the resignation of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
The constituency has always occupied an important position in Pakistani politics with Qureshi as well as former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader turned PTI stalwart Makhdoom Javed Hashmi being the traditional contenders.
However, this time around the buzz is all about the son of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Ali Moosa Gilani, contesting the polls on a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ticket.
His main contestant is PML-N’s Abdul Ghaffar Dogar, former mayor of Multan. The constituency comprises rural areas in Multan including Qadirpur Rawan, Taataypur and Budhla Sant. The total number of voters is 33,8007 with 219 polling stations and 637 polling booths.
As many as 219 presiding officers were deputed to monitor the polling process along with 5,000 police personnel. Polling in Basti Gul polling station was suspended earlier due to the complaints of PML-N polling agents who had alleged that PPP workers beat them up. There were some disturbances recorded in polling stations 57 as well as 288 while PML-N’s women voters were allegedly also beaten at polling station 174.
The premier’s son is widely expected to win the seat.
Around 5,000 police personnel were deployed to maintain security
The NA-149 constituency became vacant following the resignation of Javed Hashmi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). NA-149 has remained the constituency of PML-N.
It comprises urban areas of Multan, where the competition was likely to be tough due to the high political awareness and literacy rate. The PML-N initially awarded ticket to Rafeeq Rajwana, but he was later picked for the Senate seat. Tariq Rasheed, former mayor of Multan and brother of Tahir Rasheed who recently re-joined the PML-N, was nominated for the seat.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) gave its backing to Liaquat Dogar, a former MNA and brother of Senator Salahuddin Dogar. The total number of voters in this constituency is 402,981. Some 295 polling stations and 930 booths were set up. Up to 295 presiding officers have been deputed.
Around 5,000 policemen and five Rangers battalion were deployed for security purposes. City Police Officer Amir Zulfiaqar Khan remained intact in monitoring the security situation. Tariq Rasheed, who is expected to win, had earlier stated to The Express Tribune that he was not satisfied with transparency in the voter list.
Additionally, a scuffle broke out at polling station number 282, when gunmen snatched a mobile phone from the presiding officer Zia-ur-Rehman. They also marked 1,427 votes on a snatched ballot copy and dropped them in a polling booth, following which they fled the scene.
The seat was vacated by PPP’s Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali who joined PTI
Independent candidate Dr Azeem-ud-Din Zahid Lakhvi won the NA-140 Constituency seat with 47,477 votes by defeating independent candidate Malik Rashid, who bagged 47,213 votes. However, PPP’s Sardar Sarwar Khan Dogar polled 30,257 votes.
The seat was vacated by PPP’s Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali, after joining Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and complying with the party decision to boycott the current by-election.
Although both independent candidates were initially endorsed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), they received support from different local groups as well.
Lakhvi is a member of Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith and enjoyed the support of its head Senator Sajid Meer. When Sharif withdrew his approval of Lakhvi, he along with former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri and Sardar Waqas Akhtar staged protests in Kasur.
Both Kasuri and Asif who joined PTI supported two different candidates in the by-elections. Kasuri supported Lakhvi on a single point agenda to eliminate Malik Rashid from the constituency, on fears of losing support for the next general election.
Sardar Waqas supported PPP’s Dogar to gain its backing for the next elections.
NA-195 [Rahimyar Khan]
The constituency has a total of 270,763 voters and 206 polling stations
The constituency along the National Highway, and bordering Sindh and Balochistan, was vacated after former minister Jehangir Tareen resigned from his National Assembly seat, and joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Major candidates include Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, son of Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, who is also the father-in-law of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son Abdul Qadir Gilani.
Following seat adjustment, no other party – including the PPP, the PML-N and the PML-Q – fielded a candidate against him, sources said.
The other contestant was Maulvi Tariq Chohan, an independent candidate with official backing of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and unofficial support from the JUI-F, sources said.
The constituency, which includes sub-districts Sadiqabad and Rahimyar Khan, has a total of 270,763 voters, and 206 polling stations comprising 691 polling booths. No polling stations were declared sensitive due to the contest being largely one-sided, but 2,100 policemen were deployed to ensure peace and stability. 1,444 election staff was scheduled to be on duty.
Early predictions suggested a landslide victory for Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood, with a 40,000 point lead.
PML-N’s Azam Geeba entered politics at a provincial level for the first time
Pakistan Muslin League Nawaz’s (PML-N) Malik Muhammad Azam Geeba is likely to win the seat, as so far he bagged 34,108, while his nearest rival independent candidate Malik Amanat Khan polled 24,450 and Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Malik Sameen Khan claimed 18,070 votes.
Malik Amanat has enjoyed the support of Pakistan Muslim Leaque-Quaid’s (PML-Q) leadership.
Geeba entered politics at a provincial level for the first time and is expected to win the elections comfortably.
It is pertinent to mention that this seat has been vacated by PPP’s Malik Khurram Ali Khan, after he joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
However PML-N’s Asif Ali Malik could only bag 12,755 votes in the 2008 elections, but Geeba’s victory has revived the party’s fortunes.
PS-53 [Tando Muhammad Khan ]
Polling was marred by incident at one of the stations after Bukhari was involved in a scuffle with the lady presiding officer
The seat for PS-53 was vacated after Syed Mohsin Shah Bukhari passed away on January 14. The late MPA had been a five-time winner from the same constituency since 1988.
Ten candidates are contesting the by-elections for PS-53. The actual contest however, is between the late MPA’s widow Syeda Wahida Mohsin Bukhari, and an independent candidate Mir Mushtaq Talpur. Both are covered by three and four candidates, respectively, leaving only one Amir Zardari, a political lightweight, as the third contender.
Wahida Mohsin Bukhari, a candidate for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), did not originally campaign for the seat as she was observing Iddat (a waiting period after the husband’s death). While she was in Iddat, the late MPA’s cousin Syed Aijaz Shah Bukhari was considered as a candidate for the seat. Protests from the local ladies wing of the PPP secured her nomination.
A total of 102 polling stations were set up in the constituency which has 113,812 registered voters. The polling started around 2 hours late in the morning but finished on time at 5 pm. According to the Returning Officer Ali Asghar Siyal, the polling went on smoothly on 100 stations while it resumed after brief disruptions at the two places. Polling has been marred by incident at one of the stations after Bukhari was involved in a scuffle with the lady presiding officer.
According to unofficial results, Syeda Wahida Mohsin Bukhari has bagged 24,980 votes while, trailing behind her, Mir Mushtaq has 11,518 votes. The vote count has been completed in 87 polling stations out of the total 102.
Shah alleged that Zulfiqar Mirza had ‘imported’ gangsters who, dressed as Rangers, spread fear amongst the voters
Blaring sirens, imported double-cabins, protocols and patrols served as props in Tando Bago, a taluka in PS 57 Badin, on polling day.
“People vote to protocols, power, and money,” whispered a voter, Baqir Khan.
“They also vote when they see police and guns. We don’t talk and ask our representatives how our issues would be resolved,” he added with a smile.
Khan was seconded by a government official.
“We vote for those who show power and [Zulfiqar] Mirza knows that very well,” he said, referring to former Sindh home minister whose son Barrister Hasnain Mirza is a front-runner with a Pakistan Peoples Party ticket. “Hasnain’s parents have visited several areas and had made new promises. They offer jobs and other development works in the area,” the official added.
A senior PPP leader, Ghulam Hussain Ansari, did not disagree.
“People are supporting Hasnain because his parents have done a lot for these people. They also expect that Hasnain will bring progress in the area,” Ansari said.
Pappu Shah, an independent candidate who later joined Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded, was considered a tough contestant for Hasnain Mirza.
He lost his position though, after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz fielded Mir Manzoor Talpur, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat fielded Maulana Abdullah Sindhi and Ghazi Sallauddin was given a ticket by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, local observers said.
Shah, Sindhi and Talpur alleged that state machinery was being used in favour of Hasnain.
“I don’t consider this election impartial. Though people of this constituency are not satisfied with the PPP, they don’t have another option to vote for,” Sindhi said.
Shah alleged that Zulfiqar Mirza had ‘imported’ gangsters who, dressed up as Rangers, spread fear amongst the voters.
“People in my area are poor, innocent and humble and can’t afford such pressure tactics,” Shah said.
He added that about 22,000 votes were removed from the voter lists and said he would challenge the results in the apex court. Out of 115 polling stations, 30 were declared sensitive.
PPP’s candidate Sardar Bahadar Babar Khan disappointed the party
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Malik Adil Abdullah Rokhri won the PP-44 Mianwali constituency by scoring 45,670 votes, defeating independent candidate Malik Tariq Masood Kund, who bagged 36,070 votes in a tight contest.
This seat was vacated after the death of Rokhri’s father, Amir Hayat Khan Rokhri who in the 2008 general elections won the seat by claiming 38,833 votes as an independent candidate and later joined the PML-N.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Malik Muhammad Sardar Bahadar Babar Khan disappointed the party after coming in a distant third. He had accrued 19,213 votes in the previous elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.
More in PakistanPaving the road to peace through tolerance