Lahore : Pakistanis on Sunday voted for the parliamentary seat being contested by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s ailing wife in a test of support for the family after the Supreme Court dismissed Sharif from the office in the Panama Papers scandal.

The NA-120 seat in Lahore is said to be a stronghold of the Sharif family.

It fell vacant after the apex court on July 28 disqualified Sharif on grounds that he was dishonest. The latest results shared by the Election Commission with the media after counting of votes cast at 134 polling stations out of the total 220, showed that Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz was edging ahead of her main rival Yasmin Rashid of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party.

Nawaz had managed 35,600 votes against Rashid’s 28,000. Sharif’s wife was fielded by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party for the by-election against Rashid and 42 other candidates, including one from the Milli Muslim League, a new party backed by Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ut-Dawa (JuD). Nawaz recently underwent cancer treatment in London and has been recuperating in the British capital.

Her daughter Maryam Nawaz managed her campaign in her absence.

The Coalition for Election and Democracy (CED), an alliance of registered independent civil society organisations, in its exit-poll survey showed a slender lead for Nawaz.

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Free Press Journal