ISLAMABAD: By-elections on two provincial assembly seats of Dera Ghazi Khan city will be held on May 7, according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) here on Thursday.
The two Punjab Assembly seats (PP-243 D.G. Khan-IV and PP-245 D.G. Khan-VI) fell vacant following the election of veteran Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa and Mohsin Khan Leghari of the PML-Q (Unification Block) to the Senate on March 12.
The PML-N which is the ruling party in the province seems set to retain the PP-243 seat that was vacated by Mr Khosa, but a tough and interesting fight is expected in PP-245 constituency, vacated by Mr Leghari.
In the 2008 general election, Mr Khosa won his family’s traditional PP-243 seat by securing more than 69 per cent of the total polled votes. The remaining 31 per cent votes were shared by four independent candidates. He secured 27,829 votes.
However, Mr Leghari of the PML-Q managed to bag the PP-245 seat after a tough contest by securing 18,330 votes and with a thin margin of just over 1,800 votes. Dr Saeed Buzdar of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) secured 16,441 votes whereas an independent candidate Sardar Mohammad Khan Leghari polled 14,885 votes.
The May 7 by-election on the PP-246 seat will be a test case for the PML-N and the PML-Q, which is also expected to get the support from the PPP as the two parties are part of the ruling coalition at the Centre.
According to the election schedule, candidates are required to file their nomination papers on April 12 and 13 while the ECP will scrutinise the papers on April 16. Last date for filing appeals against the decisions of the returning officers regarding rejection or acceptance of the nomination papers is April 17 and the last date for deciding appeals by the election tribunals is April 19.
The candidates can withdraw their papers by April 20 and the ECP will publish the final list of the candidates on April 21.