Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz has won the parliamentary seat vacated by her husband, unofficial results on Monday showed.
The National Assembly seat in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, fell vacant after the country’s top court removed Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister over corruption charges in July.
Kulsoom Nawaz had so far secured 61,745 votes while her main rival, Yasmeen Rashid of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), bagged 47,099 votes, an election official told the media. But the vote count is still on although Kulsoom Nawaz is unlikely to be defeated.
Sheikh Azhar Hussain, an independent candidate, got 7,130 votes and was third in the contest, which assumed importance after Sharif’s disqualification. The total voter turnout in the election was 39.42 per cent.
Faisal Mir of the main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party got only 1,414 votes. Punjab is considered the power base of Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).
Official results will be announced by the Election Commission in a couple of days.
Kulsoom Nawaz, currently under treatment in a London hospital for cancer, was grateful to the voters, her daughter Maryam Nawaz said in a speech to thousands of cheering supporters after it became known that her mother was on the road to victory.
Maryam Nawaz, who had led the election campaign for her mother, told supporters that people had rejected those who wanted “conspiracies and chaos” in Pakistan.
“Nawaz Sharif still lives in the heart of the people,” she said outside the party’s election office in Lahore.
PTI candidate Yasmeen Rashid alleged mismanagement during the poll and said she would approach the court against the election authorities.