Completing the electoral college for the upcoming Senate election, voting for six National Assembly seats and four provincial assembly seats ended on Saturday.
Of the six NA seats on offer, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won two, Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz (PML-N) one, Awami National Party (ANP) one, Pakistan Muslim Legaue-Functional (PML-F) one and independent one. Of the four provincial seats on offer, PML-N won the two contested in Punjab and PPP won the two contested in Sindh.
All parties won within their strongholds.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates Natasha Daultana and Ali Mosa Gilani (Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son) won two National Assembly (NA) seats – one from Vehari-II (NA 168) and one from Multan (NA 148), respectively.
According to unofficial results, Daultana clinched 70,551 votes. In NA 148 Multan, Gilani led with 84, 239 votes, with PML-N’s Abdul Gaffar Dogar following with 40,000 votes.
PML-N’s Sheikh Tariq Rashid was on the verge of bagging the other NA seat from Multan (NA 149). Rashid lead the race with 23,435 votes, while PPP’s Malik Liaquat Dogar trailed at 15,814 votes.
ANP’s Himayatullah Mayar was took NA 09 from Mardan. Mayar won with 30,266 votes, while his opponent JUI-F candidate Shujaul Mulk secured 24,491 votes.
Azimuddin Lakhvi, an independent candidate, won NA-140 Kasur.
PML-F’s Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood swept through the Rahim Yar Khan’s NA 195. Mehmood bagged 81,745 votes, defeating another independent, Tariq Chohan, who had 17,940 votes.
PML-N’s Malik Adil Abdullah Rokhri and Malik Azam Geeba snapped up PP 44 from Mianwali and PP 18 from Attock, respectively. Rokhri won by securing 45,670 votes, defeating independent candidate Malik Tariq Masood Kund who bagged 36,070 votes. Geeba led the race in Attock with 46, 976 votes, while independent candidate Malik Amanat polled 38,722 votes.
PPP’s Hasnain Ali Mirza (Zulfikar Mirza’s son) and Syeda Wahida Mohsin Shah Bukhari took PS 57 Badin and PS 53 Tando Muhammad Khan, respectively.
Mirza bagged 40,520 votes, while independent candidate Papoo Shah was runner-up with 7,983 votes. Wahida Bukhari polled 29,978 votes to clinch PS 53 Tando Muhammad Khan.
Though the polls were not very close, they were not without controversy.
There some sporadic reports of violence – but it was PPP’s Wahida Bukhari, the prospective winner in Tando Muhammad Khan, who stole the limelight – caught on camera thrashing and humiliating a lady presiding officer. The rampaging PPP candidate caused a 30-minute disruption in the voting process after she assaulted presiding officer Shagufta, accusing her of fiddling, and then went on to assault an elderly woman, Habiban Memon, while the deputy superintendent of police escorting her looked on.
“The staff was stuffing the ballots,” she told a television channel, explaining the reason behind her outburst. She did not apologise for her behaviour, however, and justified her actions. Talking to The Express Tribune, she went as far as denying the incident. “The opponents are making allegations. I just went and checked what was happening after I received a complaint of rigging.”
Her main opponent in the elections, Mir Mushtaq Talpur said he will pursue the disqualification of his opponent, Bukhari, on the charges of rigging and for the violence she created inside a polling station.
According to media reports, the Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan has taken notice of the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2012.