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Wife Of Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Wins Parliament Seat, Unofficial Results Show


Maryam Nawaz (right) and Kulsoom Nawaz in 2013

The wife of ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has won a parliament seat in a closely watched by-election caused when Sharif stepped down in July, unofficial results suggest.

Kulsoom Nawaz won 61,254 votes in the election in Lahore, 14,188 more than her nearest rival, local media reported on September 18.

The unofficial results from the September 17 vote were compiled by officers at polling stations and handed to officials from political parties. Election authorities will announce the final and official results later.

The contested National Assembly seat in Lahore has long been controlled by Sharif and his allies.

It was left vacant when the Supreme Court barred Sharif from office after an inquiry into the 2016 Panama Papers linked his family to offshore companies. Sharif denies any wrongdoing.

Nawaz is currently in London for cancer treatment. In her absence, her daughter Maryam Nawaz led the campaign for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

Maryam Nawaz told supporters that the election victory proved people's love for Sharif and rejected his disqualification.

"Today, people have given their verdict over the [Supreme Court] verdict," she told the crowd.

Kulsoom Nawaz’s nearest rival, Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) opposition party's candidate Yasmin Rashid, won 47,066 votes in the election, according to local media. She conceded defeat while talking to supporters.

In August, the PML-N elected one of Sharif's loyalists, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as prime minister.

Some party officials have suggested Kulsoom Nawaz could become prime minister once elected to parliament.

Nawaz, who has been married to Sharif for more than 40 years, does not hold political office but is a high-profile figure in Pakistan.

With reporting by AP, dpa, the BBC, Dawn, and RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal
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