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Imran to run in by-elections for nine NA seats simultaneously




Former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan will contest the by-elections for nine National Assembly seats to be held on September 25, according to a party statement released on Friday.

In the by-elections of 9 National Assembly constituencies to be held on September 25, President Imran Khan himself will contest all seats, the PTI announced on its official Twitter account.

Earlier in the day, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released the schedule of vacant seats in the National Assembly.

According to the schedule released by the ECP, candidates can submit their nomination papers from August 10 to 13, which will be verified by August 17, while election symbols will be delivered to candidates on August 29.

According to the ECP, the by-elections will be held in the constituencies of NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad and NA-118 Nankana Sahib NA-237, 239 and 246 from Karachi.

The seats became vacant after National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on July 28 accepted the resignations of 11 Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf members exactly 109 days after they resigned from their seats.

After losing 15 out of 20 seats in Punjab in partial polls and eventually losing the post of chief minister of the province, the government had decided to move forward by accepting the resignations of PTI lawmakers pending since 11 april.

Amid the PTI’s demand for snap polls and the government’s decision to complete the remaining constitutional term until August 2023, the election over vacant seats would not just be a showdown between the ruling alliance and the PTI and his allies, but would turn out to be a referendum on their popularity among the masses.

Sensing the move, former PTI Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had tweeted that former Vice President Qasim Suri had already accepted the resignations of PTI lawmakers and sent the same to the ECP, claiming that the acceptance of resignations no longer had any legal value.

Fawad had said it was a fantasy that by-elections would be held in 11 constituencies, adding that the country was heading towards general elections and the incumbent leaders would not be able to stop this.

Earlier, the NA president had called the 131 PTI lawmakers, who had resigned from their seats in the assembly, to check whether their resignations were genuine and voluntary.

However, Imran had banned members of his party from appearing before the NA speaker, calling it a trap. The PTI Legislatures did not show up and since then the case had been pending before the speaker.

On April 16, the NA speaker requested the NA Secretariat to reprocess the resignations of PTI lawmakers and present them before him so that they can be processed according to law.

The decision had come amid allegations and speculation that some of the PTI lawmakers were unwilling to resign and conveyed messages that their resignations should not be accepted.

The speakers’ leadership had come days after former Vice President Suris’ decision to accept the resignation of PTI lawmakers after they resigned en masse from the assembly in protest at alleged foreign interference that ousted Imran Khan from the post of prime minister.

Ashraf’s decision had once again opened the chapter of resignation and it was speculated that the verification process would deliberately take some time to give the newly formed government pause to settle.

The NA Secretariat did not explain why the speaker only accepted the resignation of 11 lawmakers and not others and what criteria were followed to move forward with a few elected officials and leave 120 others in limbo. The secretariat also did not say whether the NA president plans to accept any other resignations in the coming days.




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