QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) won the NA-260 Quetta-cum-Chagai by-election on Sunday after a tough contest from the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M).
According to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sources the JUI-F candidate Engineer Usman Badini got 43969 votes whereas BNP-M’s candidate Sardar Bahadur Khan Mengal secured 37786 votes.
The JUI-F candidate was backed by the National Party (NP), a coalition partner in the Balochistan government as well as MPA Amanullah Notezai. Badini had contested for the Senate seat in 2009 and 2012 as an independent candidate but was unsuccessful both times.
The by-elections were held after the death of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party’s (PkMAP) leader Abdul Rahim Mandokhail who was elected on this seat in the general elections of 2013 on the party’s ticket. PkMAP candidate Jamal Tarakai, however, suffered a major blow in Saturday’s polls and secured only 20169 votes. PPP candidate Sardarzada Umair Muhammad Hassani secured approximately 14829 votes.
The PPP leaders, however, claimed that the elections were rigged and that their victory was turned into defeat during the elections. PPP supporters held a protest outside the ECP office in the constituency on Sunday.
The Awami National Party, BNP-Awami and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) had supported BNP-M’s candidate during the elections while the PkMAP candidate was supported by Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen. This win takes the number of JUI-F seats in the National Assembly up to seven while the PkMAP seats decrease from four to three.
A total of 320 polling stations were declared the most sensitive, 50 sensitive while 37 polling stations were declared normal. Out of 407 polling stations 167 have been allocated for men, 131 for women while 108 polling stations have been established for both men and women. A total of 993 polling booths have also been established in the constituency including 571 from men, 422 for women.
As many as 407 presiding offices, 814 assistant presiding officers have been deployed in the polling booths. There were 460202 registered voters in the constituency, 274367 men and 185835 women.
Our correspondent from Islamabad adds: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned police baton-charge on PPP workers and their arrests in Quetta for protesting against gerrymandering of by-election results from NA-260 and rigging.
In a press statement issued here, the PPP chairman said that election results were not being announced properly even after 24 hours after the polling, where polling agents of the PPP candidate Mir Umair Mohammad Hasni were dislodged from polling stations before the compilation of results.
He said that on one hand the notification of winner PPP candidate from PS-114 Karachi by-election Saeed Ghani was being withheld on a simple application from the defeated candidate while on the other hand police was unleashed against the PPP workers protesting against the manipulation of election results and rigging in NA-260 Quetta-Chagai.
Bilawal Bhutto warned that all the workers detained should be released forthwith; rigging should be investigated transparently and made it clear that PPP would never tolerate any tampering with its mandate. He said that nation had attached high hopes in the Chief Election Commissioner and stressed that attempts to drain the hopes of people about 2018 general elections should be checked in time.