LAHORE : The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sunday managed not only improved its position in the National Assembly by bagging four NA seats, it also extended gains in the Punjab Assembly by securing five seat, according to results compiled by The Express Tribune.
According to details, PML-N had vacated only one of the 11 NA seats up for grabs in the by-election, whereas PTI had vacated six and the PML-Q vacated two seats.
While elections on two NA seats – NA-103 and NA-60 – were postponed.
PML-N put up a tough fight against the ruling party and not only managed to retain NA-124, the only seat it vacated, but also managed to win three more constituencies.
On the other hand, PTI managed to win only four seats, including NA-60, where elections were postponed after Hanif Abbasi’s arrest.
It only managed to win three of the six seats it had vacated. Two of three seats – NA-35 and NA-131 — were vacated by Prime Minister Imran Khan, whereas one seat – NA-56 –was vacated by Maj (retd) Tahir Sadiq.
In NA-35, all main opposition parties – including the PPP and PML-N – backed MMA’s candidate Zahid Akram Durani.
In NA-56, which was vacated by PTI’s Maj (retd) Tahir, PML-N only managed to improve it position after downplaying internal rift between the local leadership.
Major Tahir, who won NA-55 and NA-56 seats, opted to vacate NA-55 while retaining NA-56.
The understanding was that from NA-55 Amin Aslam would contest, who had strong roots in the area. However Major(retd) Tahir went against this understanding and vacated NA-56, forcing Amin out of the electoral race. Later PTI chief Imran Khan allowed Amin to hand pick a candidate of his choice. Subsequently, Amin chose Malik Khurram, who was not supported by Major (retd) Tahir, which led to the defeat of the ruling party.
In Lahore too on NA-131, where Imran Khan won against former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique by a thin margin of 680 votes, the party is said to have lost due to its bad selection of candidate, Hamyuin Akhtar Khan, whose brother is a senator from PML-N, was not supported by PTI’s local leaders, who wanted Imran Khan to give NA-131 to Waleed Iqbal. As a result, Hamyun failed to run a proper election campaign. But despite this, PTI still managed to give a tough competition to PML-N stalwart Khawaja Saad Rafique.
PML-N, on the other hand, had vacated just four Punjab Assembly seats. It managed to won back five seats, including two new ones.
However, PML-N lost PP-118 to an independent candidate, while the new seats it secured were PP-27 and PP-292, which were earlier thought to be PTI strongholds.
PTI, meanwhile, vacated six Punjab Assembly seats but only managed to win back three of them, while winning a new one.
The new seat it won was PP-272.
Overall, the election results alone would not matter much in regard to party positions in either National Assembly or provincial assembly.
However, PML-N is viewing this victory as a defeat of PTI’s governance model. PML-N also won back all four seats from Lahore, two National Assembly and two provincial assembly seats.