Pakistan ousted PM Nawaz Sharif's wife wins parliamentary seat

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/18 11:06:21

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's wife Kulsoom Nawaz has won parliamentary seat in a neck-and-neck by-election, according to unofficial results announced early Monday.

The National Assembly's seat in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, fell vacant after the country's top court removed Nawaz Sharif as prime minister over corruption charges in July.

According to the unofficial results Kulsoom Nawaz secured 61,745 votes while her rival, Yasmeen Rashid of the opposition Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) or Justice Movement bagged 47099 votes, an election official said at a news conference Monday morning.

Sheikh Azhar Hussain, an independent candidate, got 7,130 votes and placed third in the contest, which had assumed importance in the country's politics after Sharif's disqualification. The total turnout was 39.42 percent, according to the official.

Faisal Mir, candidate of the main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, got only 1,414 votes raising questions about the party's position in Punjab province. The province is considered as the power base of Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).

Official results will be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad in a couple of days.

There were a total of 321,633 registered voters, including 179,505 male and 142,128 female voters, in the National Assembly seat (NA-120) Lahore.

Kulsoom Nawaz, who is currently under treatment in a London hospital for cancer, offered thanks to the voters in a telephonic call, her daughter Maryam Nawaz said in her speech to thousands of supporters after unofficial results were announced.

The election was held peacefully and there were only minor incidents of scuffle during the 9-hour polling on Sunday. Pakistan Army and paramilitary troops were deployed for maintenance of peace in view of tension between the two arch rivals.

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, who had led election campaign for her mother, told supporters after the results that the people have rejected those who wanted "conspiracies and chaos" in the country.

"Nawaz Sharif still lives in the heart of the people," Maryam told thousands of her party's supporters, who gathered outside the party's election office in Lahore.

PTI's candidate Yasmeen Rashid alleged some mismanagement during the poll and said she would approach the court against the election authorities.

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