ECP unveils by-polls schedule for national, provincial assemblies

A file photo of a ballot paper. — AFP
A file photo of a ballot paper. — AFP
  • By-elections to be organised on April 21.
  • By-polls to be held on 6 NA, 17 PA seats.
  • 239 candidates going to participate in polls.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday announced schedule for by-polls on six National Assembly and 17 provincial assembly seats which would be held on April 21.

The top electoral body issued a notification regarding the election programme for vacant NA and PA seats where reelection will be organised next week.

According to the notification, the by-polls will be held on six NA, 12 Punjab Assembly, 2 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly, 2 Balochistan Assembly, and one Sindh Assembly seats.

A total of 239 candidates were going to participate in the forthcoming by-elections, including 50 contenders for NA seats, of which Pakistan Peoples Party leader Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari was elected unopposed in NA-207 constituency.

Another PPP leader Zubair Ahmed Junejo was also elected without facing any contest on PS-80 Dadu seat.

Subsequently, 23 candidates were contesting by-polls for KP Assembly seats, 154 candidates for Punjab Assembly seats, and 12 candidates for Balochistan Assembly seats.

The ECP spokesperson said polling material has been provided to the provincial election commissioner, whereas, all district returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs) were fulfilling their duties in accordance with the by-polls’ schedule.

Additionally, the printing of ballot papers was continued since March 30, he added.

The spokesperson said that the commission was also in contact with the interior, defence ministries, and provincial law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for peaceful conduct of the by-elections.

Constituencies where by-polls are being held

The NA seats on which by-elections will take place include NA-8 Bajaur, NA-44 Dera Ismail Khan-I, NA-119 Lahore-III, NA-132 Kasur-II, NA-196 Kamber Shadadkot-I and NA-207 Shaheed Benazirabad-I.

The elections on NA-8 Bajaur and PK-22 Bajaur-IV were suspended after a candidate contesting as an independent on these constituencies was was shot dead.

Meanwhile, NA-44 seat fell vacant after newly-elected KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur opted to retain his provincial seat from DI Khan.

The NA-119 Lahore-III seat was vacated after Maryam went for the provincial seat which she had won, while NA-132 Kasur fell vacant after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided to retain his NA-123 Lahore-VII seat.

PM Shehbaz had also won on Punjab Assembly seats — PP-158 and PP-164 — but since he opted his NA seat, the provincial assembly seats were left vacant.

Moreover, the NA seats from Sindh’s constituencies, NA-196 Kamber Shadadkot-I and NA-207 Shaheed Benazirabad-I, were vacated after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto retained the seat he won in Larkana, while President Asif Ali Zardari gave up his seat following his election as the head of state.

The other provincial assembly seats on which by-polls will be held include Punjab’s PP-22 Chakwal-Cum-Talagang, PP-32 Gujrat-VI, PP-36 Wazirabad-II, PP-54 Narowal-|, PP-93 Bhakkar-V, PP-139 Sheikhupura-IV, PP-147 Lahore-III, PP-149 Lahore-V, PP-158 Lahore-XIV, PP-164 Lahore-XX, PP-266 Rahim Yar Khan-XII, PP-290 Dera Ghazi Khan-V; KP’s PK-22 Bajaur-IV, PK-91 Kohat-II; Balochistan’s PB-20 Khuzdar-III, PB-22 Lasbela; and Sindh’s PS-80 Dadu-I.

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