Ruling National People's Party candidate Marcuise Marak has won the Williamnagar Assembly by-election in Meghalaya, increasing the party's strength to 20 in the 60-member Assembly. Marcuise, who got 9,558 votes, defeated his nearest rival and independent candidate Sengbsth R Marak by a margin of 4,860 votes, state's Chief Electoral Officer F R Kharkogor told PTI.
By winning the Williamnagar Assembly by poll, the NPP has now equalled the number of MLAs (20) that the main opposition party Congress has in the Meghalaya Assembly.
While the Congress, NPP have 20 MLAs each, the United Democratic Party has six, People's Democratic Front four, the BJP two, Hills State People's Democratic Part two, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement one, NCP one and three independents in the Assembly.
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.
The by-election on Williamnagar seat was necessitated after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jonathone Sangma was killed in a bomb blast on February 18, days before Assembly elections in Meghalaya on February 27.
NCP candidate Krenilla Marak, the widow of the candidate killed in an IED blast contested from Williamnagar constituency in Meghalaya's East Garo Hill district along with nine other candidates.
(With inputs from PTI)