World Bulletin/News Desk
Initial results of by-elections held on Thursday show the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif maintaining its lead in most of the constituencies, with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan coming second.
Initial results show the PML, which emerged as the single largest majority party in May elections with 124 out of 272 national assembly seats, was leading on 9 out of 12 seats that its candidates, including Premier Sharif, had vacated.
The ruling party conceded set back on two provincial assembly seats in its stronghold Punjab, the country’s richest and most populous province.
The seats were won by the PTI, which came out as the second largest party in the general elections held on May 11.
According to election rules in Pakistan, a candidate can contest as many seats he/she wants in general elections for both national and provincial assemblies simultaneously.
However, the candidate can retain only one seat and by-elections must be held on vacated seats.
The PTI appeared to be the largest party in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province, which borders Afghanistan, retaining 7 out of 10 seats its candidates vacated after May elections.
The Peshawar High Court ordered the Election Commission to withhold the results of two constituencies in KP province where women were not allowed to cast their votes.
The PTI was also leading on an Islamabad constituency that it had won in May elections as well.
But the party suffered a huge set back on a National Assembly seat in Peshawar where its candidate trailed far behind the candidate of the left-wing Awami National party (ANP) who was maintaining a solid lead till the filing of this report.
The said seat was vacated by Khan, the PTI chairman, who had won three National Assembly constituencies - Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Mianwali - in May polls.
He retained the Rawalpindi seat and vacated the two others.
The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which was the ruling party before the May elections, had led on one National Assembly and two provincial assembly seats in Southern Sindh province, its traditional stronghold.
A political worker was killed in clash between two political parties in Qila Abdullah district of Southwestern Baluchistan province.
Reports of intermittent brawls between workers of different political parties were also reported in some constituencies.Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 22:40