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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced by-elections on four of the 13 legislative seats; a National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly seats, where the polls were postponed earlier, on the coming October 9, whereas, the electoral body has not announced polls on the nine NA seats, on which Imran Khan is contesting elections against Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidates, citing an Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s order.

By-elections would be held on NA-157 Multan, PP-139 Sheikhupura, PP-209 Khanewal, and PP-241 Bahawalnagar on October 9.

The decision to hold by-elections on these seats was taken in an ECP meeting on Monday.

In the meeting, the electoral body decided to reach out to the IHC for clarification of its directives on the suspension of the ECP’s notification issued in July—wherein the commission had de-notified the NA memberships of nine Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers.

The meeting also decided to meet again on September 14 on the matter.

On September 8, the ECP postponed by-elections on the 13 seats; 10 NA seats falling in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh, as well as, three PA seats, which were scheduled in this and next month, citing, “national emergency” triggered by flash floods and the “law and order situation” in the KP.

The PTI and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) handed an outright rejection to the ECP’s decision. The PTI rejected the ECP’s decision on the grounds that none of the constituencies where the polls were postponed witnessed flash flooding.

“There is fear and panic in the corridors of power due to the ever-rising popularity of Imran Khan,” PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said in a statement issued then.

On the other hand, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted on September 8, “How long will IK remain ladla my Multan & Karachi candidates r frustrated by sudden postponement of by-elections. They are eager to start serving their constituents who have been left without representation for too long. no need to allow PTI to run away from elections at 11th hr.”

By-elections were scheduled for an NA and two PA seats on September 11; NA-157 Multan, PP-139 Sheikhupura, and PP-241 Bahawalnagar.

These polls were scheduled on nine NA seats on September 25: NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib, NA-237 Malir, NA-239 Korangi, and NA-246 South Karachi. And the by-election was scheduled on one PA seat; PP-209 Khanewal on October 2.

The PTI chief and former Prime Minister Imran Khan is contesting the by-elections on all these nine seats.

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