Outcome of NA-133 contest


AS WAS widely expected, PML(N) retained its seat in NA-133 Lahore by-polls as its candidate Shaista Pervaiz Malik won the polls securing about 47,000 votes against over 32,000 bagged by her closest rival Muhammad Aslam Gill of PPP.

However, the extremely low turn-out of 18.59% should be a source of concern for all political parties which should identify reasons and factors behind the phenomenon and address them.

The outcome of the election confirms once again that PML(N) remains the most influential political power in Punjab and attempts aimed at denting its popularity have not produced the results its rivals wanted to achieve.

It is, however, interesting to observe that the number of votes secured by the PML(N) candidates were not as impressive as they used to be in previous contests in the constituency and PPP, which has been making frantic efforts to regain lost foothold in Punjab, was able to reduce the margin of its defeat to a respectable level.

The PPP, no doubt, worked hard during the election campaign and an increase in the number of its votes would serve as a morale booster for the party, rekindling its hope to make its presence felt in the province in the next local government and general elections.

The jolt that the ruling PTI received in the shape of rejection of nomination papers of both the main and the covering candidates should also serve as an eye-opener for the party to improve its homework and planning for electoral matches.

It is widely believed that the main reason for the low turn-out in the by-election was absence of PTI from the scene as this made it virtually a one-way contest in the eyes of the people.

And it was this over-confidence of PML(N) that made its victory less charming and according to reports at many polling stations voters of PTI voted for the PPP candidate.

Some violations of electoral code were also highlighted during the by-election and it is for the Election Commission to take the ongoing investigations to their logical conclusion to prevent their recurrence in future elections.

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