Islamabad: In a further setback to the Shehbaz Sharif administration, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, won the important by-elections, capturing two out of three provincial assembly seats in Punjab and six out of the eight National Assembly seats.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf competed in the main election. After the PTI legislators resigned in the wake of the overthrow of Khan's administration in April, eight seats in the national assembly (NA) and three in the Punjab provincial parliament were vacant.
Khan, who contested seven National Assembly seats in the crucial by-polls held last week, emerged victorious in six constituencies, building forward momentum in his drive to push the six month-old PML-N-led government into announcing an early general election.
The 70-year-old cricketer turned-politician was defeated on a seat in Karachi by a candidate of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which managed to clinch two National Assembly seats - NA-157 Multan and NA-237 Karachi - which were bagged by PTI in the 2018 general elections. In Multan, former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son Ali Musa Gillani defeated Meher Bano, daughter of former foreign minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi. This was the only NA seat where Khan did not contest in the by-poll. The Multan contest was keenly watched as it showcased the influential Gilani and Qureshi families of the city fighting for a key seat.