Nawaz expresses anger at by-poll defeat

Inflation, party’s conciliatory narrative blamed for electoral blow


Our Correspondent October 17, 2022
According to sources, the premier apprised his brother about the meetings with world leaders including US President Joe Biden. PHOTO: TWITTER/ @MurtazaViews

LAHORE:

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has expressed annoyance over his party’s “worst defeat” in Sunday’s by-elections and directed the party officials to form a fact-finding committee on the by-poll drubbing.

Sources in the party said on Monday that chaotic scenes were witnessed at party huddles after Nawaz expressed dissatisfaction over the party leadership’s performance in by-polls in three provinces of the country and directed the ministers and senior party leaders to submit the report on the thumping defeat.

Out of three provincial assembly seats, the PML-N managed to clinch just one while the other two went to the PTI. According to the official results issued by ECP, PML-N’s Iftikhar Ahmad Bhangoo won PP-139 Sheikhupura seat against PTI nominee Muhammad Abu Bakar.

In Khanewal (PP-209), PTI’s Faisal Khan Niazi won after securing 71,156 votes against PML-N’s Chaudhry Ziaur Rehman. In Bahawalnagar (PP-241), PTI nominee Malik Muzzaffar Khan got 59,957 against PML-N candidate Amanullah Sattar’s 48,147.

Rising inflation blamed

Moreover, the sources also revealed that in the wake of the electoral blow, the PML-N leadership has submitted a preliminary report to Nawaz Sharif, in which rising inflation and massive increase in electricity prices were cited as major reasons behind the defeat.

The insiders added the report also held the party’s renewed ‘conciliatory narrative’ and lack of senior leadership interest in the party affairs responsible for the upset in by-polls.

Last night, Imran Khan won six National Assembly seats for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the by-election that was seen as a direct contest between the former ruling party and the current ruling coalition led by PML-N.

Out of the eight National Assembly seats previously held by the PTI, Imran contested on seven, while Meher Bano Qureshi was to defend the party’s bastion in Multan. However, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) made inroads, with Hakeem Baloch winning in Karachi and Ali Musa Gilani in Multan.

According to the unofficial results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Imran won the National Assembly seats from Mardan, Charsadda and Peshawar in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Faisalabad and Nankana Sahib in Punjab and the Korangi district of Karachi in Sindh.

The PPP won in Multan, Punjab and the Malir district of Karachi. Besides, by-polls were also held on three seats of the Punjab Assembly previously held by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. According to the unofficial results, the PTI emerged victorious on two seats, while the PML-N retained one.

The results gave both sides something to go ahead. Based on PTI’s popularity and its momentum, many expected that the party would clean sweep but this didn’t happen. Victories in Multan and Karachi for the joint candidates for PPP and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) also gave face-saving to the PPP.

Also read: Fatalism in air as PML-N sees no hope in by-polls

 

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