ISLAMABAD: The number of rejected votes was greater than the margin of victory for the winning candidate in 35 National Assembly constituencies in the general elections of 2013, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s record.
The document, a copy of which is available with Dawn, puts Punjab at the top with 15 constituencies where the number of rejected votes was higher than the victory margin. Balochistan was second with seven, while Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had five such constituencies each. There are also three Fata constituencies in the list.
The document reveals that while the ruling Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) was a major beneficiary in several cases, it was not the only party that benefited. Twelve other parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and the Awami National Party (ANP), were successful in such constituencies. In addition, six of these constituencies were won by independent candidates.
Of the 35 seats where the number of rejected votes was greater than the winning margin, the PML-N bagged 12 seats, the PPP secured four and the JUI-F took three seats, while the PTI, the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) of retired General Pervez Musharraf, the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), PML-Q, National People’s Party (NPP), the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Balochistan National Party (BNP) clinched one seat each.
ECP document reveals nearly all parties won seats where number of rejected votes was greater than the margin of victory
Ten of the seats won by PML-N were in Punjab and one each in Balochistan and Fata. The protesting PTI, which has been alleging that it was defeated through widespread rigging in this election, was the runner up in only two of these constituencies. A Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM) candidate finished second in one of these constituencies, while independents came second in five such constituencies.
Independents won three such constituencies in Punjab, two in Fata and one in Balochistan. PPP candidates were declared victorious in three such constituencies in Sindh and one in Punjab. JUI-F candidates were successful in three such constituencies in Balochistan. PkMAP and BNP also secured one seat each in Balochistan.
All five such constituencies in KP went to different political parties. The lone APML MNA won NA-32 Chitral by defeating a PTI candidate. The PTI, ANP, JI and QWP won the other four seats in KP.
From NA-57 (Attock), current State Minister Sheikh Aftab Ahmad of the PML-N defeated Malik Amin Aslam of the PTI by a margin of 3,913 votes, while the number of rejected votes was 5,464.
In NA-59 (Attock), PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s nephew Zain Elahi won as an independent, defeating the PML-N candidate with a margin of 689 votes. The number of rejected votes in the constituency was 7,098.
In NA-73 (Bhakkar), PML-N’s Abdul Majeed Khan won with a margin of 6,620 votes where the number of rejected votes was 13,256.
In NA-89 (Jhang), Sheikh Mohammad Akram of the PML-N defeated the head of the banned ASWJ, Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi by a margin of 2,733 votes, while the number of rejected votes was 4,441.
In NA-91 (Jhang), the independent Najab Abbas Sial secured 91,301 votes against his closest rival Mehboob Sultan of PML (N). The margin of victory was 4,253 while 6,247 votes were rejected.
In NA-104 (Gujrat), Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain of PML -Q lost to Nawabzada Mazhar Ali of the PML-N. The margin of victory and number of rejected votes were 3,882 and 6,453, respectively.
In NA-134 (Sheikhupura), PML-N’s Irfan Dogar defeated an independent candidate by 3,294 votes. The number of votes rejected here was 5,605.
In NA-137 (Nankana Sahib), won by Rai Mansab Ali of PML-N, the margin of victory was 5,279 votes while as many as 6,641. The runner-up in this case was an independent candidate.
In NA-153 (Multan), Deewan Ashiq Hussain of PML -N defeated Rana Qasim Noon of the PPP by 4,234 votes, with the number of votes rejected being 5,374.
In NA-192 (Rahim Yar Khan), Ghulam Rasool Koreja defeated Makhdoom Ahmad Alam Anwar of the PML-N with a margin of 1,261 votes, while the number of rejected votes was 6,754.
In NA-208 (Jacobabad), former National Assembly speaker Ilahi Buksh Soomro of the PML-N lost to Aijaz Jakhrani of the PPP by a margin of 5224 votes. The number of rejected votes here was 6,489.
In NA-230 (Tharparkar), PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi was defeated by PPP’s Pir Noor Muhammad Jilani. The number of rejected votes, 8,990, was four times higher than the margin of victory, 2,051.
A new record was set in the constituency where former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali won the elections. The number of rejected votes here was an astronomical 25,562, while the margin of victory was a mere 5,861 votes.
In KP, QWP Chief Aftab Khan Sherpao, ANP’s Amir Haider Khan Hoti, APML’s Iftikharuddin, PTI’s Azhar Khan Jadoon and JI’s Sahibzada Muhammad Yaqub won constituencies where the margin of victory was far less than the number of rejected votes.
Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2014