This is a referendum for Haqiqi Azadi from the cabal of crooks. We are contesting against all of PDM, the Election Commission and 'namaloom afraad', Imran Khan said during polling in a tweet.
ISLAMABAD –– Former prime minister and chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan on Sunday made history after he managed to win the most number of National Assembly seats simultaneously in six constituencies in the crucial by-election on Sunday.
The PTI chief won five NA seats in the 2018 elections.
The elections were held on the eight National Assembly seats that fall vacant after the resignation of PTI lawmakers following the ouster of Imran Khan from the PM Office through a no-confidence motion in April.
The National Assembly seats which went for polls were, NA-22 Mardan III, NA-24 Charsadda II, NA-31 Peshawar V, NA-108 Faisalabad VIII, NA-118 Nankana Sahib II, NA-157 Multan IV, NA-237 Malir II, NA-239 Korangi Karachi I.
However, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) managed to clinch two seats — NA-157 Multan and NA-237 Karachi — which were bagged by the PTI in the 2018 general elections.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) and the Awami National Party (ANP), could not manage to grab even a single NA seat as Imran Khan — the PTI’s candidate on seven seats — emerged victorious against his rivals in six constituencies, according to local media reports.
The PML-N managed to win one Punjab Assembly seat out of the three as the rest went to PTI.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran Khan managed to upstage both JUI-F and ANP. ANP provincial chief Aimal Wali Khan and senior leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour were defeated by the PTI chief by a margin of over 10,000 and over 25,000 votes in Charsadda (NA-24) and Peshawar (NA-31), respectively.
The PTI chief won NA-24 Charsadda seat securing 78,589 votes against Aimal Wali Khan’s 68,356 votes while in NA-31, Imran Khan secured 57,814 against Mr Bilour’s 32,252 votes. Mr Bilour, however, refused to accept the result and vowed to challenge the decision in the Election Commission of Pakistan and courts. In Peshawar, the turnout was recorded at 20.28 per cent.
In Karachi, PPP won the Malir constituency (NA-237), with its candidate Abdul Hakim Baloch securing 32,567 against Imran Khan’s 22,493.
The hallmark of the October 2022 by-polls was that PTI Chairman Imran Khan contested all the NA seats except one that is NA-157, where the party had fielded Meher Bano Qureshi, daughter of party Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi against PDM’s candidate Ali Musa Gilani.
Prior to Imran Khan, PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto contested on five seats simultaneously. The former PM emerged victorious on four seats and lost one.
Amid a large presence of law enforcers and the police to prevent any untoward incident, the election day remained largely peaceful except for a few clashes among the supporters of political parties. However, security personnel managed to control the violence and also made a few arrests.
After the positive and encouraging outcome of the polls which went in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Imran said the vote, is a “referendum” on his popularity, The News reported.
“This is a referendum for Haqiqi Azadi from the cabal of crooks. We are contesting against all of PDM, the Election Commission and ‘namaloom afraad’,” Khan said in a tweet.
The sweeping victory shows popular support for Imran’s political narrative in the country. The former cricket star, who was ousted from power through a no-confidence vote in April, has been holding massive rallies across Pakistan to push for early elections.
“I ask the government and the establishment to respect the will of the masses and immediately announce fresh elections in the country,” Fawad Chaudhry, a senior leader of Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said in a tweet. “We are ready to discuss the election framework with the government.”