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November 5, 1999
Sharief's Muslim League wins five seats in PoK elections
Belying all poll predictions, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharief's Muslim League has won five seats in the 24-member Northern Areas Council in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir against the lone seat it got in 1994.
Elections, the second in the past 53 years, were held in this occupied territory on Wednesday and the results were out yesterday. Like in 1994, local parties boycotted the polls saying they offered no solution to the problems of the local people.
Besides the Muslim League, the Pakistan People's Party and the Tehrik-i-Jaaferia Pakistan participated in the polls and won six and five seats respectively. Independents won eight seats, the same as in 1994.
The elections were a serious setback for the TJP, a Shia party, which saw a drop in the number of seats won (from eight to five), despite the northern areas being Shia-dominated.
After the ouster of the Muslim League government in Pakistan it was being predicted that the party would not be able to win even a single seat. But it appears that voters in the northern areas have developed a sympathy for the party.
These elections were held despite stiff resistance from parties, like the Jammat-i-Islami, who said the military government was ignoring the Supreme Court order of May this year, that suggested an amendment of the Constitution and regulations to provide justice to the local people.
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