PPP wins Bagh by elections with lead of 5,000 votes

 Sardar Zia Qamar of PPP bagged 25,766 votes while Mushtaq Minhas of PML-N secured 20,499 votes

According to the unofficial results of all the 189 polling stations of LA-15 Bagh, PPP’s Sardar Zia Qamar bagged 25,755 votes while PML-N’s Mushtaq Ahmed Minhas was runner-up after securing 20,485 votes. The PTI candidate, Muhammad Zamir Khan finished third  with 4,942 votes. PTI has lost nearly 14,000 votes in just two years. Sardar Ilyas Tanveer secured more than 19,000 votes from this constituency in 2021 elections.

Sardar Zia Qamar bagged 8,000 more votes in the by election compare to the 2021 elections. PML-N candidate Mushtaq Minhas also increased nearly 9,000 votes in his tally but still lost the elections with the margin of 5,000 votes.  

The turnout was more than 50 percent. According to data shared by the election commission, 52,671 votes were polled in the by-election in LA-15, Bagh-II constituency, which has 101,146 registered voters, including 48,038 women.

The seat fell vacant after the disqualification of former Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Ilyas Tanveer in a contempt of court by AJK High Court.

Sardar Ilyas won this seat in 2021 elections. He bagged more than 19,000 votes. Sardar Zia Qamar was runner up with 14,680 votes. PML-N candidate Mushtaq Minhas was third with more than 8,500 votes.   

Mushtaq Minhas, a journalist turned politician has lost second election in a row. He had clinched victory in his maiden election in AJK in 2016, conceded defeat, and was seen in a picture embracing and greeting Qamar following the announcement of unofficial results.

Later, Qamar said that “this victory is a reflection of people’s trust in a genuine and humble political worker who prefers to stay among them through thick and thin”.

                                                              Khalid Bhatti

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