PML-N narrowly loses Multan by-election

Published: April 27, 2012

Electronic voting machines were used for the first time. PHOTO: SHAHID BASHIR/EXPRESS

MULTAN: 

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Usman Bhatti on Thursday won the PP-194 by-election in Multan by just over 300 votes.

According to unofficial results, Usman Bhatti secured 20,416 votes. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Moinuddin Riaz Qureshi came second with 20,097 votes.

Voter turnout remained around 22 per cent.
The result is an upset of sorts given that the constituency had traditionally voted for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates.

When unofficial count was finally announced, celebrations began at the residences of Usman Bhatti and Amir Dogar, the secretary general for PPP South Punjab.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Bhatti said, “My victory is a humble tribute to our leader Yousuf Raza Gillani.”

He also called it sweet revenge and democracy’s victory. He said the voters clearly appreciated his loyalty to the PPP. He said his opponent had fluanted his wealth during the election campaign but failed to impress the electorate.

He said, “This victory is the first proverbial drop of the establishment of the Seraiki province.”

Congratulating the winning candidate, Prime Minister Gilani said his success reflected the confidence the people had in the PPP. He said he hoped that the newly elected MPA would remain committed to democracy and serve his constituency.

The seat had been vacant after PML-N member Shahid Mahmood Khan resigned and joined the Pakistan Tekreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in support of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi.

PML-N media coordinator Mohammad Mehdi said that party will examine the causes for loss.

A central PML-N leader speaking anonymously, blamed the loss of poor candidate selection. He said that Qureshi had been awarded the party ticket on the recommendation of a senior bureaucrat against better advice by party workers. He said Qureshi had joined the party only recently after leaving the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).

Bhatti was elected deputy mayor of Multan during the last local bodies elections.

Polling remained peaceful with no violence or irregularities. It also featured the use of electronic voting machines for the first time. These were used at women’s polling stations in the Degree College, Kutechery and Workers Welfare School on experimental basis.

The total number of votes registered in PP-194 is 188,472 (102,416 male and 86,056 female). The Election Commission of Pakistan had set up 134 polling stations (69 for male voters and 65 for female voters). A total of eight independent candidates also contested the by-election.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2012.

Reader Comments (25)

  • binary-zero
    Apr 27, 2012 - 4:08AM

    I think it’s not a changing tide but PPP+PMLQ+PTI against PML-N , I think it’s very progressive for PMLN if they just lost from a margin of hundreds.

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  • Blithe
    Apr 27, 2012 - 6:35AM

    This is what happens when we vote along
    Ethnic/ linguistic lines and not principles.

    It’s all very sad of PPP to indulging in politics of hate .

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Apr 27, 2012 - 7:42AM

    It was just a warm up match between two finalists before General Elections. The real problem is for that party which boycotts matches and hope to win tournament. Its possible only if all other teams are disqualified.

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  • Iram
    Apr 27, 2012 - 9:26AM

    It will be altogether different ball game when PTI contest in election.

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  • Abid Saleem
    Apr 27, 2012 - 9:33AM

    PPP is still the force to recken with…all the establishment, opposition can’t corner it

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  • Mirza
    Apr 27, 2012 - 9:36AM

    This is an answer to the haters of secular coalition govt. The SC can hang an elected PPP PM and convict the other but cannot decrease their support in rural heartland of Pakistan. This is not a minor victory for PPP coming after the SC verdict. PML-N had never lost this constituency before in any elections. This is a barometer for the coming elections. That is why mullah/military/judiciary alliance is using backdoor to once again remove the elected PPP govt. Everybody knows the next election results would be even better for PPP and its coalition partners.

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  • Ali
    Apr 27, 2012 - 9:50AM

    Its pretty clear to comment if this country is going to survive in the next 10 years or not.
    People are still choosing to vote the same blood sucking abominations who have done nothing positive for them.
    Be it PML-N or PPP, its really very depressive to see these corrupt parties getting the highest votes.

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  • Atique ur Rehman
    Apr 27, 2012 - 9:54AM

    @binary-zero: PTI boycotted the elections. No wonder the turnout was low.

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  • Abbas
    Apr 27, 2012 - 10:12AM

    After the last few years, how is it possible that PPP is winning anything at all?

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  • Iram
    Apr 27, 2012 - 10:43AM

    @Ch Allah Daad: After warm up be ready to lose finally.

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  • Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani
    Apr 27, 2012 - 11:05AM

    only PTI can restore the image of Pakistan, all others are well tested.

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  • JB
    Apr 27, 2012 - 11:27AM

    22% turnout shows it all. And considering the trend and history, I am dead sure there were some fake votes involved; the same way they were involved in the previous national elections.

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  • ame
    Apr 27, 2012 - 11:52AM

    pls note turnout 22% in election will be inshallah 70% (mostly youth support for pti)
    do not loose hope change is on its way

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  • pervaiz memon
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:04PM

    interestingly a poor worker win against land lord and person of so called noble family . is ppp is as weak as it looks in all our the country ?

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  • AG
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:43PM

    22% voter turnout speaks for itself….

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  • Hassan
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:55PM

    22% turnout and guy who won got something like 11% of total votes and if you take into account the bogus votes which then the winner is choice of only less than 10% of the people in that area and yet he will claim on media and parliament that he is the true representative of the constituency. Hail democracy…

    @ Ch Allah Dad

    I love how paranoid you are with PTI as each and every comment is anti PTI and it doesn’t matter if PTI is part of the dialogue or not.. :) Get over it brother

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  • Pakistani Muslim
    Apr 27, 2012 - 1:49PM

    @ame:
    oh youth of PTI??? the same who showed their strength by fighting against each other infront of youth wing boss… no thanks..

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  • SupremeCommander
    Apr 27, 2012 - 2:35PM

    If less than 50% turnout, the Army should be brought in and a General should be elected. I’m sorry but there need to be a minimum turnout to be classified as a democracy.

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  • Rao
    Apr 27, 2012 - 2:58PM

    Vote for the personality not for the party

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  • Jeay Bhutto
    Apr 27, 2012 - 6:19PM

    Instead of appreciating that the PPP gave a ticket to an ordinary lower middle class worker who defeated a landlord and accepting that the PPP won it fair and square despite PML-N’s usage of government machinery particularly police our tribune readers are so quick to dismiss PPP and its voters!

    Jeay Bhutto!

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  • Civilian
    Apr 27, 2012 - 6:35PM

    @SupremeCommander:

    Why would we want an army which has lost four wars and has always failed to do its job?!

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  • Fayyaz
    Apr 27, 2012 - 6:38PM

    BISP working for PPP..and i fear it will also work for PPP in the general elections…women in villages think that their 1 thousand monthly support money is linked with PPP regime as the name suggests (BENAZIR) Income Support Programme…so they think only if party of the Benazir is in government they would be receiving that money otherwise they would be deprived of this money…This curse of naming public sector programs after politicians should be abandoned as the money does not belong to any Zardari or Sharif rather its the money of the people of Pakistan and should not be used for the advancement of a single party’s political purposes….

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  • Civilian
    Apr 27, 2012 - 7:07PM

    @Fayyaz:

    Actually PML-N and PTI have made it clear that once in power they are going to discontinue the program, so I think they are right in thinking so.

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  • zK
    Apr 27, 2012 - 7:43PM

    Thankyou people of Pakistan…i hope you will continue the trend and vote PPP and Zardari back in office YET AGAIN in the upcoming general elections ! My dear country men…u deserve every bit ….enjoy!Recommend

  • Ignorant
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Generosity of ‘people’ of Pakistan is very famous the world over but let it stand corrected that BISP money is a donor money and has not been tapped from milky rivers flowing in every street of the country and has certainly nothing to do with the ‘people of Pakistan’.

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