National People’s Party candidate Marcuise Marak was on Tuesday elected MLA from the Williamnagar Assembly seat in Meghalaya, increasing the party’s strength to 20 in the House. The 60-member Meghalaya Assembly has an effective strength of 59.
Marcuise polled 9,558 votes and defeated his nearest rival and Independent candidate Sengbsth R Marak by a margin of 4,860 votes, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer F Rm Kharkogor told PTI.
Polling for the seat was postponed following the death of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in an IED attack on February 18, days before the February-27 Assembly election in the state. With the announcement of the poll results, the ruling NPP has equaled its strength with that of the Opposition Congress.
The Congress and the NPP now have 20 MLAs each, United Democratic Party 6, People’s Democratic Front 4, BJP 2, Hills State People’s Democratic Part 2, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement 1, NCP 1 and 3 Independents.
Bye-elections to the Ampati seat, formerly represented by Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma, is scheduled for May 28. Marcuise had represented Williamnagar in 2008 but was defeated in the 2013 elections by Congress MLA Deborah C Marak.
Marak, a Cabinet minister in the Mukul Sangma government, finished third, polling only 4,517 votes, followed by Krenila R Marak, wife of Jonathone N Sangma. In all, nine candidates contested in the April 27 elections in Williamnagar.