ECP announces schedule for NA-154 by-polls

Updated November 06, 2015

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The much awaited by-polls in constituency will be held on November 23. ─AFP/File
The much awaited by-polls in constituency will be held on November 23. ─AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday announced the schedule for by-polls in NA-154, Lodhran constituency of National Assembly.

According to the notification issued today, the public notice for the by-polls will be issued by November 12 while the dates for filing nomination papers are November 19 and November 20.

The date for announcement of rejection or acceptance of appeals by returning officers is set to be November 30.

The much awaited by-polls in constituency will be held on December 23.

Notification issued by ECP
Notification issued by ECP

It is pertinent to note here that earlier today the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a Rs2.5 billion development package for the district and distributed cheques among farmers as part of the Kissan package.

Related: PM announces Rs2.5bn development package for Lodhran, PTI cries foul

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's Jahangir Tareen wrote a letter to Chief Election Commissioner urging him to take notice of the PM's visit to the district ahead of NA-154 by-elections, terming it "a blatant case of pre-poll rigging".

Tareen, in the letter, also expressed astonishment over the ECP's delay in announcing the schedule for by-polls days after the Supreme Court (SC) verdict calling for re-polling in the constituency.

An election tribunal in August had annulled the results of the 2013 General Election in NA-154, disqualifying PML-N's Siddique Baloch for possessing fake academic credentials.

The tribunal’s detailed judgement said the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) on its direction had reported a failure to authenticate the thumb impressions of 179 voters in NA-154

The PML-N lawmaker Siddique Baloch, who had contested the 2013 polls as an independent candidate before joining the party, was deseated following the tribunal verdict.

Baloch later approached the SC against the decision of the election tribunal terming him 'ineligible' to contest elections.

The SC in its final verdict on October 28 had ordered re-polling in NA-154 constituency (Lodhran) while suspending the tribunal verdict of declaring Pakistan Baloch 'ineligible' to contest elections.