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ABBOTTABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Sardar Fareed emerged as winner in the by-elections for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seat PK-45 on Thursday, according to unofficial results.

Results from all the 109 polling stations show that Mr Fareed has won the elections with a margin of 6,453 votes against his rival candidate Ali Asghar Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. Mr Fareed got 27,680 votes against Asghar Khan’s 21,227.

The seat had fallen vacant after the resignation of Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, who later assumed the charge of governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Mr Fareed, the first cousin of Governor Mehtab Ahmed Khan, managed to retain the seat, giving a clear message to the political quarters that PML-N was the popular party of the area.

Earlier, PTI chief Imran Khan had addressed four public meetings in the constituency and announced different packages while Chief Minister Pervez Khattak announced Rs1 billion packages for Galyat during a press conference at Nathiagali just a few days before the by-elections. However, this failed to make a difference.

The polling started at 8:00am and continued smoothly till 5:00pm except at few sensitive polling stations where polling was interrupted for sometime. The polling was stopped briefly at polling station Bugla in union council Patan Kalan and Nummal in the morning after a quarrel between the workers of PML-N and PTI. However, no one was injured.

Additional police personnel were deployed at these polling stations. District police officer, Abbottabad, Mohammad Ali Khan Gandapur told media persons that elections were held in a peaceful manner except a few minor quarrels between activists of the two major political parties. He said that no complaint was filed by any party against anyone so far.

Of the total 109 polling stations about 68 were declared sensitive in the constituency.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2014