ISLAMABAD: A stunning quirk witnessed this general election is the failure of several prominent candidates, who switched political parties at the last minute.
Most of them were unable to make it to the parliament in the general election 2018.
This is another quirk Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s chairman Imran Khan’s ‘electable candidates’ did not deliver as much seats as the party might have wanted.
Jumping ships for improved electoral prospects did not work this time and even distancing from the parent party could not bear the desired results for some heavyweights.
Nadeem Afzal Chan had joined PTI just before the general election in April this year.
Chan was thought to be a close aide of the PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. He quit the the PPP as Punjab chapter’s general secretary in October last year.
But switching political loyalties did not ensure him electoral success: He lost election for the NA-88, Sarghoda constituency.
Prominent among recent turncoats was Firdous Ashiq Awan who switched from PPP and joined PTI in the hope of securing an electoral success.
Awan first secured a National Assembly seat in the 2002 elections on PML–Q ticket.
In 2008, she joined the PPP and won a National Assembly seat and she served as federal information minister during the previous PPP government.
She lost election from a Sialkot constituency.
PML-N’s Chaudhry Armaghan Subhani won NA-72, Sialkot with 129,041 votes while PTI’s Firdous Ashiq Awan bagged 91,393 votes.
Veteran parliamentarian Chaudhry Nisar, who contested the polls as an independent candidate after falling out with the PML-N leadership, lost the NA-63, Rawalpindi 7 seat to PTI’s Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
Nisar also lost NA-59 Rawalpindi 3 to Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
Another new entrant to PTI, Nazar Muhmmad Gondal, who was earlier a PPP legislator, also lost election to Nasir Iqbal Bosal of the PML-N from Mandi Bahauddin.
Raza Hayyat Hiraj, who joined PTI after abandoning PML-N lost election from NA-150 in the recent polls.
Aisha Gulalai served as an MNA on PTI ticket for women’s reserved seat between 2013 and 2018. However, she developed differences with the PTI leadership and leveled serious allegations against PTI’s chief Imran Khan.
She, however, refused to resign as an MNA and used this position to launch her own faction of the PTI. She contested 2018 general election on as many as four seats and lost all of them.
Pakistan Sarzameen Party’s (PSP) candidate for NA-247 Fauzia Kasuri lost the polls with a heavy margin. She had a lengthy association with the PTI before joining PSP. But this did not yield any positive results.
Samsam Bukhari, another PTI candidate who quit the PPP, also lost in the recently concluded general election.
Last but not the least is Jamshed Dasti, previously of the PPP, who changed political loyalties several times, failed to secure a seat.