Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ailing wife on Sunday won the crucial by-election in Lahore that was seen as a test of support for the family after the Supreme Court dismissed Mr. Sharif from the office in the Panama Papers scandal.
Begum Kulsoom won the NA-120 seat in a close contest with cricket-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i- Insaf candidate Yasmin Rashid.
The parliamentary seat, said to be a stronghold of the Sharif family, fell vacant after the Supreme court on July 28 disqualified Mr. Sharif in the Panama Papers case on grounds that he was dishonest.
The Election Commission spokesperson said that Ms. Kulsoom bagged 59,413 votes defeating Mr. Rashid with a margin of more than 13,000 votes. Mr. Rashid got 46,145 votes while Sheikh Yaqoob from the Milli Muslim League, a new party backed by Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ut-Dawa (JuD), stood third with more than 4,000 votes.
The support for the Sharif family has, however, diminished as in 2013 general election Mr. Sharif had defeated Mr. Rashid with a margine of more than 41,000.
Ms. Kulsoom 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 election to the parliamentary seat was seen as a test for the PML-N party also because it comes ahead of the general election in Pakistan next year.