PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate, Arbab Amir Ayub, emerged victorious as the by-election on constituency NA-4 was held peacefully amid unprecedented security measures on Thursday.
As per the unofficial results of 269 polling stations circulated by the provincial chapter of the Election Commission through newly-introduced Result Transmission System (RTS), PTI’s Arbab Amir Ayub obtained 47,586 votes, leading the PML-N candidate Nasir Khan Musazai with a margin of 22,319 votes.
Nasir Khan Musazai of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged 25,267 votes to stand second. He was closely followed by Khushdil Khan of the Awami National Party (ANP) with 25,143 votes.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate, Asad Gulzar Khan, son of the late Gulzar Khan, obtained 12,802 votes, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan’s Allama Dr Muhammad Shafiq Ameeni got 9,470 votes, Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Wasil Farooq Jan obtained 7,409 votes.
Eight independent candidates, including Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) supported candidate Alhaj Liaqat Ali Khan, obtained 3,679 votes, Muhamma Tanveer got 348 votes, Maulana Waheed Alam bagged 284 votes, Ziaur Rehman got 192 votes, Amanullah Khan Afridi got 160 votes, Doctor Mubashir Khan 181 votes, Samiullah got 149 and Farhan Qadir received 80 votes.
It was notable that the votes of the PTI decreased in the by-election as compared to general elections, while the votes of the PML-N candidate increased. In the 2013 general elections, the PTI candidate had secured 55,134 votes, the PML-N’s Nasir Khan Musazi had obtained 20,412 votes, and the JUI-F’s candidate Arbab Kamal had secured 12,519 votes. The seat had fallen vacant owing to the death of the PTI’s dissident MNA Gulzar Khan.
The PTI Chairman Imran Khan, in his twitter message, congratulated the PTI candidate for winning the by-election with a huge margin. He said the PTI victory on huge margin proved people’s confidence in the PTI. He termed the party’s candidate’s victory as a win against the united opposition force in the province. The experiment to use RTS remained successful in the by-poll as results of polling stations were quickly received through the SMS system from presiding officers.
Sohail Ahmad, Public Relations Officer, Provincial Election Commission, told The News that the presiding officers have quickly updated the results through the RTS. Under this system, he said, the presiding officers enter result into the application along with the picture of Form XIV by using specialised mobile application, which is transmitted to the ECP server.
Electronic voting machines (EVMs) were also tested in the by-poll. According to the Election Commission, 100 polling booths used the EVMs alongside the manual voting process successfully. The by-election remained peaceful under strict security arrangements as apart from police, military and paramilitary forces were deployed in the polling stations.
One incident of polling of fake votes was reported early in the morning by a police constable, who was deployed for security at a polling station. The police department immediately held an inquiry into the matter through Chief Capital Police Officer Tahir Khan and he submitted report to the IG Police. In the inquiry report, it was revealed that the incident of polling of fake votes by a police constable was baseless. It was stated that the police constable belonged to other district and was helping an aged man, 77, in casting his vote after he was requested by him.
The total number of registered voters of this constituency was 397,904. Some 269 polling stations were set up to facilitate the voters. To ensure foolproof security, more than 7,000 police personnel, along with army troops, were deployed outside polling stations. The process of polling started at 8:00am and lasted till 5:00pm. Voter turnout was low.