Fresh blow to Imran Khan's party as PML-N candidates' victory notified from Islamabad seats

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Imran Khan Pakistan Lahore

Former prime minister Imran Khan (File image)

Islamabad: Pakistan's election commission on Friday notified the victories of three candidates from Nawaz Sharif's PML-N in the federal capital, delivering a fresh blow to jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's party, which had challenged the original poll results.


Backed by the 71-year-old Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, three losing candidates - Amir Mughal, Shoaib Shaheen and Mohammad Ali Bukhari - had petitioned in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), alleging manipulation of the results.

On Wednesday, the IHC suspended poll result notifications issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from NA-46, NA-47 and NA-48, putting on hold the success of three candidates of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, who had won respectively on the three seats.

While Anjum Aqeel Khan and Chaudhry won on the PML-N tickets, Raja Khurram Nawaz won as an independent candidate and joined the party after his victory.


After hearing the parties on Friday, the electoral watchdog restored the order suspended by the IHC and issued the notification announcing the victory of the three candidates, Geo News reported.

“Now the Commission, after hearing the parties, has finally disposed of the petitions filed by Mr Aamer Masood, contesting candidate NA-46 ICT-I, Mr Shoib Shaheen, contesting candidate NA-47 ICT-II, and Syed Muhammad Ali Bokhari, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Ch. Azhar Mehmood contesting candidates NA-48 ICT-Ill, in light of the order passed by the Hon'ble Islamabad High Court," the ECP said.

Earlier, the three PTI-backed losing candidates had challenged the election results before the ECP on February 10, and the commission issued a status quo order. However, on February 11, the ECP also issued the notification that declared Khan, Chaudhry, and Nawaz as returned candidates.


Speaking to media outside the ECP, PML-N-backed Chaudhry slammed his rivals for creating controversy over the election results. "We are ready for a political battle," he was quoted as saying.

Chaudhry accused the PTI of fraudulent activities and misguiding the high court and advised the party not to fight against the state.

Independent candidates backed by the PTI won more than 90 seats in the National Assembly in the February 8 general election. The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has 17 seats.


To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

However, the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government, which may effectively end former prime minister Khan's chances of returning to power.

PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif has been nominated as the prime minister candidate, while PPP's Asif Ali Zardari is for the president’s office.

On Wednesday, the PTI rejected the attempts by two of its arch-rivals to form a coalition government, warning that robbing its public endorsement by the "mandate thieves" will result in the worst political instability.