MQM nominee Kamal Malik bagged 39,800 votes from the constituency NA-245. Interestingly, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Amjadullah Khan had withdrawn from the by-polls hours before the polling process was to commence in the constituency and announced to join MQM.
Meanwhile, MQM also won the by-election in Sindh Assembly constituency PS-115 with its candidate Faisal Rafique securing 11,747 votes.
The election campaign for NA-245 took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when PTI candidate Amjadullah announced his withdrawal from the election race and to join the MQM.
Polling for by-elections in NA-245 and PS-115 started this morning amid strict security arrangements.
Polling began at 8:00 a.m in the morning will continue till 5:00 p.m without any break.
The two assembly seats fell vacant after resignations of MQM’s Rehan Hashmi and Arshad Vohra who were elected in recently held local councils elections in Karachi.
Strict security measures have been taken at both the constituencies.
The election commission called Rangers to perform security duty to ensure necessary protection to the voters amid polling.
The elections were expected to be a contest mainly between the MQM and the PTI. But after dramatic announcement of the PTI candidate Amjadullah Khan to exit the election race and join MQM on the eve of the vote served fatal blow to the party’s election plans. The decision virtually leaves the field vacant for the MQM candidate Kamal Malick.
NA-245 in Karachi’s district central and PS-115 in district east have been considered as strongholds of MQM. The party’s Rehan Hashmi had won the election in NA-245 by bagging 115,776 votes in the general elections in 2013. PTI candidate Riaz Hyder was runner up with 54,937 votes, while Jamat Islami’s Dr Mairajul Huda was distant third with 22, 452 votes.
MQM’s Dr. Arshad Vohra had bagged the provincial seat PS-115 with 55,804 votes in previous election. PTI rival Hamza Nafees was runner up in the polls with 18,422 votes.