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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan did not appear in person before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday and the commission summoned them again on Friday.

A counsel for the CM KP, however, appeared before the electoral body and sought time for the CM to appear before the commission over alleged by-elections code of conduct violation. On the other hand, neither Khan nor his lawyer appeared before the commission. The ECP issued a notice to Khan and directed that the PTI chief and CM KP appear before the ECP in person on September 23.

On Saturday, the ECP accused the PTI chief, CM KP and his cabinet members of code of conduct violation related to by-elections and summoned them on Tuesday. The ECP has announced by-elections on 12 legislative seats on October 16. These seats comprise nine National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly seats. Four of these NA seats fall in KP; NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar and NA-45 Kurram. Three NA seats fall in Punjab; NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib and NA-157 Multan. And two NA seats are located in Sindh; NA-237 Malir and NA-239 Korangi.

Barring NA-157 Multan, the PTI chief is contesting against his political rivals on the rest of eight NA seats. Gohar Bano Qureshi, the daughter of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, is the PTI’s candidate for NA-157 Multan.

The three PA seats where polls are scheduled, are: PP-139 Sheikhupura, PP-209 Khanewal, and PP-241 Bahawalnagar.

By-election was also scheduled in NA-246 South Karachi but the ECP discarded the by-poll schedule for this seat after PTI Member National Assembly (MNA) Shakoor Shad moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) with the plea that he did not resign from his NA seat. The IHC suspended the ECP notification on de-notifying him as an MNA from NA-246, following which, his NA membership was restored.

Shakoor was among 131 of 155 PTI MNAs who submitted their resignations to the speaker NA after Khan was ousted as PM in a no-confidence motion lodged against him in the NA by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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