ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has taken the lead in the by-polls held on nearly two dozen national and provincial seats on Sunday, as per unofficial and preliminary results. As per the unofficial and preliminary results of the 21 national and provincial seats, PML-N succeeded in securing 4 out of 12 seats from Punjab, once a stronghold of the ruling party so far. The Sharif-led party also won PA seat from Balochistan and one NA seat from Lahore. Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) secured one PA seat from Lahore. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), however, won a NA seat from Kamber Shahdadtkot. Following the swearing-in of the new assemblies, Pakistan’s first by-elections on 21 vacant national and provincial assembly seats were held amid sporadic incidents of clashes between workers of different political parties in Punjab. Major political parties including PML-N, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council and PPP participated in the by-polls. The voting on the by-polls, conducted after the February 8 general elections, started at 8am and concluded at 5pm today. During the polling process, the federal government suspended mobile phone services temporarily in several districts of Punjab and Balochistan in a decision that was taken to safeguard the integrity and security of the electoral process. Meanwhile, at the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the government also deployed Pakistan Army and Civil Armed Forces (CAF) troops during the polling process. Several workers of the PML-N and SIC clashed in several constituencies, leading to death of one PML-N worker, Muhammad Yousaf in Narowal. Police said that the PML-N worker was taken to hospital where he succumbed to injuries, adding that the polling was stopped in this constituency.



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