A PTI supporter with his family after casting his vote in Karachi.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
In a major boost, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has retained its seat, NA-245 Karachi, in the by-election, with its candidate Mahmood Moulvi having secured 29,475 votes against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) nominee Moid Anwar, who bagged 16,282 votes.
The total number of voters in the constituency was 515,003, including 240,016 women and 274,987 men. However, only 60,760 voters, including 19,564 women and 41,196 men, cast their vote.
The number of valid votes was 60,336. The presiding officers rejected 424 votes. The turnout ratio remained 11.8 percent.
This National Assembly seat fell vacant after the death of PTI MP Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain.
Political pundits expected that the MQM-P would give a tough time to the PTI because it was supported by the ruling alliance in the Centre. However, the MQM-P appeared to be competing with the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) for the runner-up, as at some stage of results tabulation, the two parties were seesawing between the second and third position.
TLP candidate Muhammad Ahmed Raza bagged 9,836 votes and came third. Disgruntled leader of the MQM Dr Farooq Sattar, who contested the by-poll as an independent candidate, came fourth, securing 3,479 votes.
The TLP and Sattar divided the MQM vote bank, benefiting the PTI. The MQM Haqiqi, led by former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal, again could not prove itself a major political stakeholder in Karachi. It appeared to be competing with the Muhajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi for the fifth rank. In the final results, MQM Haqiqi candidate Hafeezuddin polled 1,177 votes only.
The PTI candidate secured 48.9 per cent votes, MQM-P 21.9 per cent, TLP 16.3 per cent, Farooq Sattar 5.8 per cent and the rest of the votes bagged by the remaining lot.
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