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KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement re-emerged victorious in the by-elections held here on Thursday for the National Assembly seat NA-245 and Sindh Assembly seat PS-115.

The party’s candidates — Mohammad Kamal and Faisal Rafiq — defeated their rivals with big margins despite a low voter turnout of 12 per cent.

According to initial results, the two got surety amount of their rivals forfeited.

The seats had fallen vacant with the resignations of MNA Rehan Hashmi and MPA Dr Arshad Vohra of the MQM,

following election of the former as chairman of the Central District Municipal Committee and of the latter as vice chairman and his nomination for the post of deputy mayor of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

According to unofficial results, Mr Kamal was leading with over 39,500 votes in the NA constituency where 409,000 voters are registered. PPP’s Shahid Hussain secured over 3,000 votes.

Mr Kamal’s victory is reminiscent of the May 2013 general elections in which Rehan Hashmi of the MQM had polled more than 115,000 votes and defeated Mohammad Riaz of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, who had received 54,937 votes.

From PS-115, Faisal Rafiq won the seat as he got over 11,600 votes against his closest rival Saeed Chawla of PPP who obtained little over 1,300 votes. The turnout, out of the over 162,000 voters, was recorded at around 11 per cent.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2016