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Candidate backed by banned party wins by-poll

Updated December 02, 2016
MasRoor Nawaz Jhangvi
MasRoor Nawaz Jhangvi

JHANG: Independent can­didate Maulana Masroor Nawaz Jhangvi, supported by the banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), won the Punjab Assembly’s PP-78 by-election on Thursday with a margin of 12,793 votes, according to unofficial results.

Mr Nawaz, son of the slain Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi who founded the now defunct Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, received 48,562 votes, whereas his closest rival, Azad Nasir Ansari of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, received 35,469 votes. The candidates fielded by the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were virtually routed, as PPP’s Sarfaraz Rabbani received 3,671 votes and PTI candidate Arfa Majeed 2,821 votes.

Earlier, polling at the 171 polling stations of the constituency proceeded peacefully throughout the day and no untoward incident was reported. Security was beefed up and police were accompanied by Rangers contingents and Army personnel at all polling stations. The overall voter turnout appears to be around 30 per cent.

The PTI’s national and provincial leaders had paid scant attention to the by-election campaign. On the other hand, PPP’s top leadership, including former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah, Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza and members of the central executive committee including Chaudhry Manzoor had visited the constituency, addressed rallies and corner meetings and engaged in door-to-door campaigning.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2016