LAHORE: In a tension-filled close contest, PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq retained his NA-122 Lahore seat by defeating PTI’s Abdul Aleem Khan in the by-election held here on Sunday amid extraordinary security as well as media hype.

According to unofficial results, Mr Sadiq secured 76,204 votes and his rival Aleem Khan 72,043.

It’s the fourth consecutive win for the former National Assembly speaker since 2002, twice against PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The by-election resulted in ritual routing of the former ruling party, the PPP. It was difficult to spot any election camp of PPP’s candidate, Barrister Amer Hasan, or its flags and workers in the constituency. Because of the absence of PPP’s central leadership from the electioneering it could not become a three-way contest.

Interestingly, in the by-election for the Punjab Assembly’s PP-147 seat, which falls within NA-122, PML-N candidate Mohsin Lateef was defeated by PTI’s Shoaib Siddiqui, though by a thin margin, to the worst fears of the chief minister’s son Hamza Shahbaz who had opposed granting Mr Lateef party ticket because of his ‘unpopularity’ among party activists.

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