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ISLAMABAD: Two days after announcing by-elections on four constituencies—comprising a National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly seats,on October 9, the electoral body, Wednesday, once again revised the by-polls schedule, for the second time in less than a week, on these four seats as well as eight other NA seats as by-polls on all these 12 seats would now be held on October 16.

Following a meeting, the Election commission of Pakistan (ECP) decided to revise the elections schedule on the four seats keeping in view Eid Miladun Nabi(SAW) expected on October 9.

Just two days ago, the ECP, on Monday, announced by-elections in NA-157 Multan, PP-139 Sheikhupura, PP-209 Khanewal, and PP-241 Bahawalnagar on October 9, now revised to October 16.

On all the remaining eight NA seats, where the by-elections would also be held on October 16, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan is contesting against his political rivals. These seats are: NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib, NA-237 Malir, and NA-239 Korangi.

The ECP has discarded the by-polls schedule for NA-246 South Karachi after PTI Member National Assembly (MNA) Shakoor Shad moved Islamabad High Court (IHC) with the plea that he did not resign from his NA seat. The IHC has suspended the ECP notification on de-notifying him as an MNA from NA-246.

Before the IHC decision, the ECP, on September 8, postponed by-elections on 13 seats (including NA-246). The electoral body took this decision citing, “national emergency” triggered by flash floods and the “law and order situation” in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

However, 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.

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.”

Before September 8 postponement, by-elections were scheduled for NA-157 Multan, PP-139 Sheikhupura and PP-241 Bahawalnagar on September 11.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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