QUETTA: PPP which emerged as the single largest party in Balochistan Assembly with 11 seats after the February 8 elections, dropped to the second position after losing a seat from Kohlu in the re-polling held on Friday on the orders of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

According to provisional results issued by the Kohlu RO’s office, PML-N’s Nawab Jangeez Khan Marri won from PB-9 Kohlu after re-polling in the seven polling stations. He obtained 7,544 votes against PPP’s Mir Nasibullah Khan Marri, who had earlier won the contest with 6,277 votes.

Mr Marri contested the election on the same seat in 2023 on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and served as the minister for education in the Jam Kamal and Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo-led coalition governments. However, he joined PPP during the visit of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to Quetta.

Mian Khan Bugti, an independent candidate for NA-253 (Ziarat-Harnai-Sibi-Kohlu-Dera Bugti), maintained his victory after re-polling in seven stations within the constituency. He initially won NA-253 on Feb 8 and later joined the PML-N. He defeated Mir Dostain Khan Domki of PML-N, who is the younger brother of caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Madad Domki.

PML-N’s Nawab Jangeez Khan Marri wins PB-9 Kohlu seat

With another provincial assembly seat, PML-N and JUI-F now have an equal number of seats with the strength of 11 each, while PPP has 10. Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has won four seats.

Meanwhile, workers and supporters of PPP candidate Mr Marri staged a protest sit-in in Kohlu town against the new result.

Addressing the participants of the protest sit-in, PPP candidate Mr Marri, along with District Chairman Mir Nasir Ahmad, Wadera Ali Nawaz, Mirza Ghalib, and Bilal Ahmad, rejected the results, stating that the mandate of the people of Kohlu was “snatched through rigging”.

“I have a clear lead in 70 polling stations, and the results have been altered by casting 96 per cent of the votes in four polling stations,” Mr Marri alleged, adding that according to Form 45, the candidate of PML-N received 108 votes in these four polling stations.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2024

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