Public votes for PTI: PML-N accepts defeat in Punjab by-polls

LAHORE: Though results of the crucial by-elections are pouring in, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) accepted its defeat in the Punjab by-polls as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the leading party in the majority of provincial assembly’s seats on Sunday.

“We accept whole-heartedly that PTI clinched historic victory and the public votes came against us,” PML-N leader Malik Ahmed Khan accepted while talking to a private news channel. Malik Ahmed Khan added, “I have talked to Hamza Shahbaz and it is a difficult situation. There is a coalition government in the Centre. Hamza Shahbaz has also asked to respect the public opinion.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is currently leading on 17 out of 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly in today’s by-elections, whereas, PML-N managed to win only two seats and one seat by an independent candidate, according to the unofficial and unconfirmed results.

According to details, Hamza summoned a party meeting in view of the current situation in which the PML-N leadership will make important decisions regarding its political strategy in Punjab.

He said he accepts that PTI has won and the party wholeheartedly accepts the opinion of the public. He further added that everybody can get into the debate of how and what happened, but “apparently the situation right now shows that PTI has won the elections; therefore, we congratulate them and accept our defeat.”

Replying to a question regarding PML-N’s strategy for the election for the position of Chief Minister Punjab, scheduled to be held on July 22, Khan said: “I spoke to Hamza Shahbaz and he was of the view that people have expressed their choice, so we need to acknowledge it.”

“Last time the situation was different as there were divisions among the party but this time, it is all about the public and now we will assess where we went wrong,” he said, adding he considered these by-polls as snap-elections.

Lamenting that the party lost three major seats in Lahore, he said that now there was no reason for the party to stick to their electioneering campaign.

“This is a difficult situation for us [PML-N] as we have lost elections in Punjab, where we’ve always had a stronghold, and our government in federal is a coalition setup with thin numbers,” he maintained.

Replying to a question regarding the chances of early elections, he accepted that the results show PML-N has lost the hold of Punjab, while for the federal government, he refrained from commenting as decisions are taken after consultations from all coalition parties.

Maryam Nawaz also said the PML-N should bow to the public will and opinion. Taking to her twitter handle, she said: “We accept the public decision against us. We should accept defeat with open heart.” She underscored that the party should pinpoint the shortcomings and mistakes and work for its resolution.

BY-ELECTIONS, PA NUMBER GAME

The by-polls to 20 Punjab Assembly seats, fell vacant after the PTI MPAs voted for Hamza Shahbaz in the Chief Minister (CM) elections. The results of the by-polls would be essential for the CM vote count, ordered by the Supreme Court (SC), in the Punjab Assembly in July 2022.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) needs to win a total of 11 seats in the by-elections to gain a majority to elect their chief minister in the biggest province of the country.

Previously, PML-N needs nine seats to get a majority in the Punjab Assembly but two of its Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs) including Mian Jameel Ahmed Sharaqpuri and Faisal Niazi tendered their resignations.

 

 

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