Pakistan’s PML-N scents general election victory after by-poll triumph

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate, Pir Iqbal Shah, who defeated the son of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central leader, Jahangir Khan Tareen, in his home constituency, NA-154. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 13 February 2018
0

Pakistan’s PML-N scents general election victory after by-poll triumph

LAHORE: The recent win of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate in Lodhran has boosted the morale of the ruling party’s workers, leading many of them to describe it as a prelude to their victory in the forthcoming July general elections.
A previously unknown politician, Pir Iqbal Shah, defeated the son of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central leader, Jahangir Khan Tareen, in his home constituency, NA-154, by a significant margin.
Shah won the seat by securing 113,542 votes in the by-election while PTI’s contender, Ali Tareen, could get only 85,933 votes. Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate, Ali Beg, received only 3,100 votes.
The electoral contest in NA-154 had become inevitable after the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Jahangir Tareen for being “dishonest” under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution in December 2017. Unlike his son, the elder Tareen had won the seat in an earlier by-election in 2015 by a huge margin of around 40,000 votes.
The PML-N believes this victory indicates that the party will also win the next elections.
“The voters in Lodhran have rejected the negative propaganda against our leader, Mian Mohammed Nawaz Sharif, and given a fresh mandate to him. If all goes well, the party will get a two-thirds majority in the July polls,” Salahuddin Butt, a PML-N worker, told Arab News.
But PTI chief Imran Khan believes that his party is learning from its mistakes. “For all Insafians who are feeling dejected after NA-154 result, every setback is an opportunity to analyze one’s mistakes, correct them & come back stronger. Successful people, institutions & nations learn from their failures,” he said in a tweet after his party’s defeat.
“The Lodhran victory is a big victory for the PML-N and a shock for the PTI. It will probably leave an impact on the forthcoming general elections,” said Salim Bokhari, a senior political analyst and editor of an English language national daily, The Nation.
However, other analysts took a different view of the situation.
“All the big families and political figures stood united against the Tareens due to their local politics. The situation will not remain the same in the general elections,” said Chaudhry Khadim, political affairs editor of an Urdu newspaper, Daily Pakistan.
Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, said in a tweet that her party’s victory in the NA-154 Lodhran by-poll had “set the tone for the 2018 general elections.”


German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

A car passes a traffic sign showing a ban on diesel cars at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg, Germany, on May 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer)
Updated 26 min 47 sec ago
0

German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

  • Diesel bans will affect two streets, non-Euro-6 models
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.

BERLIN: Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, will ban the most polluting diesel vehicles from two major streets from next week, a move that could spur others to follow suit and raise pressure on carmakers to consider costly vehicle refits.
Hamburg, home to around 1.8 million people, said on Wednesday the ban would start on May 31 and affect diesel models that do not meet the latest Euro-6 emissions standards.
This follows a ruling in February by Germany’s top administrative court that the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf should consider bans for older diesels.
The detailed publication of that ruling last Friday showed local authorities were entitled to implement targeted bans with immediate effect to bring air pollution levels into line with European Union rules, although curbs affecting wider city areas should only be phased in over time.
Bans on diesel vehicles from city centers are also planned in Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to bar new diesel cars from entering the city center as soon as next year.
Since the German ruling was disclosed, the environment minister of Germany’s northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, has said banning older diesel vehicles could also be an option for the regional capital Kiel, a city of about 250,000 people.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze — a member of the Social Democrats, junior partners in Merkel’s coalition government — urged carmakers to roll out retrofits for diesel cars to lower emissions. “Driving bans like those in Hamburg show how serious the situation is,” she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “It’s up to the car industry now.”
Levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted by diesel engines and known to cause respiratory disease should fall significantly as more efficient Euro-6 models are sold and emissions-cleaning software updates take effect, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
The bans in Hamburg affect a section of about 1.6 km (one mile) on Stresemannstrasse, where the restrictions will apply only to commercial vehicles weighing 3.5 tons or more, and a section of about 580 meters on Max-Brauer-Allee, covering all diesel vehicles.
Both thoroughfares are in Altona, a busy district in the west of the city.
Drivers aiming for a destination on the two affected streets, including residents, trash collectors, suppliers and taxis, will be exempt from the restrictions as they are designed to filter out through traffic, a spokesman for Hamburg’s environment and energy department said.
Of the 330,000 diesel cars on Hamburg’s roads, only about 116,000 have the Euro-6 technology that was introduced in 2014, according to local government data.
Police will make random checks and fine drivers of older diesel cars 25 euros ($30) and truck owners up to 75 euros for violating the new rules, he said.