PPP has once more emerged the winner of the NA-249 by-poll, and by an even greater margin of votes after the recount ordered by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
After a recount of votes polled across all 276 stations, PPP candidate Abdul Qadir Mandokhel got 15,656 votes, whereas PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail secured 14,747, meaning a victory margin of 909 votes.
When the unofficial by-poll results were first announced, Mandokhel won with 16,156 votes, whereas Ismail came in second with 15,473, resulting in a difference of 683 votes.
The low margin of votes had prompted Ismail to petition the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold a recount. The ECP, accepting Ismail’s application for a hearing, issued a stay order, withholding results of the by-poll.
On May 4, following a hearing, it ordered a recount on May 6, which was boycotted by all parties except for the PPP.
The vote recount hit a snag when candidates objected to unsealed bags that were brought for a recount and came out of the District Returning Officer’s office in protest.
The PTI had gone so far as to file a petition with the ECP seeking annulment of the by-election in NA-249 due to alleged rigging.
However, ECP officials decreed that “the recount process will be completed as per the order”.
Provincial Election Commissioner Aijaz Anwer Chohan had on May 6 promised that the recounting of votes will be completed in the next two days.