The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Peoples Party have been busy wooing other political parties and influential individuals to support their candidates for the July 9 by-election in the Sindh Assembly’s PS-114 constituency.
A frenzied three-way contest is expected between Senator Saeed Ghani of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Kamran Tessori of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Najeeb Haroon of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
The PTI has succeeded in wooing Irfanullah Marwat and Sardar Abdul Rahim – two former lawmakers elected from the constituency – to strengthen its position in the constituency. Marwat -- who won the constituency twice in the 2002 and 2013 general polls, along with former Sindh Assembly deputy speaker Rahila Tiwana – has put his weight behind the PTI’s candidate, Haroon.
To garner support from Rahim, who was elected from the constituency in the 1997 general polls on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s ticket and is now a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, the PTI recently sent its central secretary general, Jahangir Tareen, to meet Pir Pagara. After getting approval, Rahim spoke at a press conference with Tareen and announced support for the PTI in the by-poll.
In similar way, the PPP has become successful in mustering the support of the Awami National Party (ANP). PPP leaders, including Senator Ghani, provincial secretary general Waqar Mehdi and former Karachi president Najmi Alam, met ANP Sindh chief Shahi Syed, who announced his support for the PPP candidate.
Earlier, the Pakistan Sunni Tehreek has announced its support for the PPP in the PS-114 by-election after meeting the PPP leaders. Ghani also met Punjabi-Pakhtun Ittehad chief Malik Ayub Awan to win the group’s support.
Marwat’s victory was declared void by an election tribunal in July 2014. On May 11 this year the Supreme Court ordered re-polling in PS-114, dismissing Marwat’s appeal against the tribunal’s decision. The seat fell vacant after the top court’s verdict unseated Marwat.