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Pakistan Punjab Top Stories

First result from PP-78 by-election brings huge shock for PMLN

JHANG: An independent candidate has taken a lead over his rival PMLN candidate in the by-election of PP-78, Jhang, unofficial results say.

According to results from 87 polling stations, Maulana Masroor Nacountingwaz, an independent candidate backed by Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamaat, has secured 24, 127 votes.

On the other hand, PML-N candidate Azad Nasir Ansari has so far managed to bag 17997 votes.

The vote count is under way after a daylong polling in Jhang, where public holiday was declared to facilitate voters.

A strong contest is expected between the PML-N and the independent candidate.

The Punjab Assembly’s constituency had fallen vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Rashida Yaqoob of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) for concealing assets while upholding a decision of an election tribunal in October.

She was elected to the assembly in the 2013 general elections and runner-up candidate Mr Ludhianvi had challenged her election.

Then the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that it would hold by-poll in the constituency on Dec 1 for which Mr Ludhianvi as well as Ms Yaqoob also filed their nomination papers. However, this time Ms Yaqoob was an independent candidate.