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Imran will be the only PTI player out of nine vacant NA seats – Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Just hours after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the timetable for by-elections for nine general seats in the National Assembly, former Prime Minister and President of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, in a bid to set a record, announced his candidacy for all nine seats in the September 25 election.

The nine seats are among the 11 left vacant after the acceptance of the resignations of the deputies of the PTI by the president of the National Assembly, and their denotification, last week.

The announcement that Mr Khan will run in all nine constituencies first came from the official PTI Twitter account, and was later confirmed by the party’s senior deputy chairman, Fawad Chaudhry, at a press conference.

The nine constituencies where by-elections will be held on September 25 are 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 Karachi and NA-246 Karachi South.

The ECP announces partial polls on September 25 on the seats freed up after the acceptance of the resignation of 11 deputies of the PTI

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had on July 28 accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MPs, nine from general seats and two from seats reserved for women, sparking controversy over the piecemeal acceptance of the resignations. The lawmakers were among more than 120 who resigned en masse from their NA seats on April 11, two days after former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted from the top office in a no-confidence vote.

PTI leaders whose resignation was accepted and who were also denoted as legislators by the ECP, included Ali Muhammad Khan, Fazal Muhammad Khan, Shaukat Ali, Fakhar Zaman Khan, Farrukh Habib, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Akram Cheema, Abdul Shakoor Shad, Dr Shireen Mazari, Shandana Gulzar Khan and Ijaz Ahmed Shah. Dr. Mazari and Shandana Khan had been elected to seats reserved for women.

In the 2018 general election, the PTI President contested elections in five constituencies and emerged victorious in all. He had beaten PML-N Khawaja Saad Rafique in NA-131 Lahore, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of PML-N in NA-53 Islamabad, late Syed Ali Raza Abidi of MQM-Pakistan in NA-243, Ubaidullah Khan of PML-N in NA-95 Mianwali and Akram Khan Durrani in NA-35 Bannu.

According to the ECP, candidates could submit their candidacy documents between August 10 and 13, which would be reviewed on August 17, while election symbols would be handed over to candidates on August 29. The deadline for deciding appeals against the acceptance and rejection of application materials by the Appeals Tribunal is August 25.

Mr Khans’ announcement to challenge the partial polls on all nine seats surprised many, with some commentators wondering if the PTI President could not find another suitable candidate and the expense to be incurred for the subsequent by-elections if Mr. Khan won several seats. and leaves all but one.

Speaking to Dawn, Fafen’s representative, Mudassir Rizvi, said that the Constitution provides for the holding of by-elections within a certain period of time after a vacancy of a seat, as well as the possibility for a candidate to stand for several seats but to keep only one, in case the candidate wins in several constituencies.

In this way, our Constitution also allows public funds to be committed for the political ambitions of political leaders and parties. In a single constituency, the type of staff required, the number of polling stations and voting booths set up, and at least a few thousand election workers involved, the expense runs into the millions each time.

Moreover, in the event that a candidate participates in by-elections or general elections in several constituencies, the leader is simply trying to prove his popularity.

Sheharyar Rizwan in Lahore also contributed to this report

Posted in Dawn, August 6, 2022

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