Imran's party suffers set-back in by-polls

In by-polls, Khan''s party lost two seats vacated by him. His seat in Lahore (NA-131) was won by former railways minister and a firebrand Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique.

In a set-back to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Opposition alliance led by deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N gained five more parliamentary seats in by-polls, reducing the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s margin in delicately balanced National Assembly.

Elections were held Sunday in nine National Assembly constituencies in Punjab and one each in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 24 provincial assemblies seats, including 11 in Punjab, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two each in Sindh and Balochistan.

Most of the seats where by-polls were held had been vacated by those elected on more than one seat in the July 25 general elections, including Prime Minister Khan who won in all the five NA constituencies he had contested.

In by-polls, Khan’s party lost two seats vacated by him. His seat in Lahore (NA-131) was won by former railways minister and a firebrand Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique. 

The outcome of the by-election will not impact the federal or provincial government but help reinvigorate the opposition parties.

The PTI won 11 seats of the provincial assemblies while the PML-N won seven. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by former president Asif Ali Zardari, and Awami National Party won two each and independent candidates were elected on two seats. The PML-N won six out of 11 contested seats in Punjab while its arch-rival PTI won five. The PML-N also won a provincial assembly seat in Khyber-Pakhtukhwa, which is the stronghold of the PTI.