Seventy-two candidates for the National Assembly bagged around 10 million votes or 20 per cent of approximately 50 million votes cast in the May 11 elections that witnessed an impressive turnout.
These candidates were declared victorious when each of them secured more than a hundred thousand votes, according to unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Around 50 million of over 86 million registered votes were cast on the election day.
Forty-seven candidates of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz secured over one hundred thousand votes each in the elections, making the party reach the leading position in terms of overall votes received.
Eleven of total 18 successful candidates of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) secured over 1.8 million votes collectively.
Nine candidates of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians secured over 100,000 votes each, three candidates of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and two independent candidates bagged over a hundred thousand votes each in these polls.
Not a single candidate from Awami National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Q, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Pakistan Muslim League-Zia, Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto Group, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl and Jamaat-e-Islami could secure over a 100,000 votes.
Interestingly, three women candidates, by surmounting all odds, bagged over one hundred thousand votes each. A successful candidate from Punjab, Sumera Malik of PML-N, secured 118, 108 votes from NA-69 Khushab, while the two winning candidates from Sindh, Fehmida Mirza of PPPP secured 110,684 from NA-225 Badin and Azra Afzal Pechuho bagged 111,667 votes from NA-213 Nawabshah.
Political observers term it a good omen and give credit to impressive turnout in this general election.
In the 2002 general elections, only ten candidates had collectively bagged over one million votes, with each gaining over 100,000 votes, as the turnout was 35 to 40 per cent.
Among the candidates who gained most votes, MQM candidate Abdul Waseem leads by securing 192,678 votes in NA-243. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate Pir Amin ul Hasnat Shah stands second with 156,709 votes in NA-64, Sargodha.
Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan comes at third position as he secured 147,916 votes on ticket of MQM in NA-256, Karachi, while Dr Khalid Maqbool of MQM secured 141,030 from NA-219, Karachi.
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif gained 140,546 votes from NA-68, Sargodha; Nabeel Ahmed Gabol of MQM secured 139,386 votes from NA-246, Karachi while Chaudry Armaghan Subhani of PML-N grabbed 136,991 from NA-111. Syed Waseem Hussain of MQM secured 135,886 votes from NA-220, Hyderabad while Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of PML-N secured 133,906 votes from NA-50, Rawalpindi.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of PML-N secured 132,905 from NA-52, Rawalpindi and Chaudhry Hamid Hameed of PML-N gained 132,668 votes from NA-66, Sargodha.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan secured 132,283 from NA-71, Mianwali while Nasir Iqbal Bosal of PML-N secured 133,128 votes from NA-109, Mandi Bahauddin. Raja Javed Ikhlas of PML-N who defeated former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in NA-51, Rawalpindi grabbed 121,067 votes while Sardar Yousaf of PML-N collected over a hundred thousand votes in NA-20, Mansehra by defeating PTI leader Azam Khan Swati.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan of PTI defeated PML-N senior leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan by bagging over one hundred thousand votes in NA-53. Two independent candidates Afzal Khan Dhandla from NA-74 Bhakkar and Jamshid Ahmed Dasti from NA-177, Muzaffargarh secured over a hundred thousand votes as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2013.