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ISLAMABAD: By-polls in 41 national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies will be held on Oct 14, as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday.

Eleven National Assembly and 26 provincial assembly seats fell vacant due to different reasons, including resignations by those elected on more than one seat and death of some contesting candidates.

Four of the 11 National Assembly seats have been vacated by Prime Minister-elect Imran Khan – who won all five seats he contested. The seats vacated by him are: NA-35 (Bannu), NA-53 (Islamabad), NA-131 (Lahore) and NA-243 (Karachi). Two National Assembly seats NA-65 (Chakwal) and NA-69 (Gujrat) have been vacated by Chaudhry Pervez Elahi of PML-Q, who has now been elected the Speaker of Punjab Assembly.

The seat of NA-56 (Attock) has been vacated by retired Maj Tahir Sadiq of PTI who also won from adjacent NA-55 seat. Likewise Ghulam Sarwar Khan has vacated NA-63 seat. He also won from NA-59 (Rawalpindi). Another seat, NA-124 (Lahore), has been vacated by PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, who has chosen to retain his provincial assembly seat he also won in the election.

Election in NA-60 (Rawalpindi) was postponed by the ECP following disqualification of PML-N’s candidate Hanif Abbasi days before the polls while death of a contesting candidate led to postponement of elections in NA-103 (Faisalabad).

The 13 provincial assembly constituencies from Punjab in which by-polls are to be held include PP-3 (Attock), PP-27 (Jhelum), PP-87 (Mianwali), PP-103 (Faisalabad), PP-118 (Toba Tek Singh), PP-164 and PP-165 (Lahore), PP-201 (Sahiwal). PP-222 (Multan), PP-261 (Rahim Yar Khan), PP-272 (Muzaffargarh), PP-292 (Dera Ghazi Khan) and PP-296 (Rajanpur).

Nine provincial assembly seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on which by-polls will be held include PK-3 and PK-7 (Swat), PK-44 (Swabi), PK-53 (Mardan), PK-61 and 64 (Nowshera), PK-78 (Peshawar) and PK-97 and PK-99 (Dera Ismail Khan). Two provincial assembly constituencies each from Sindh and Balochistan where by-elections will be held are: PS-87 (Malir) and PS-87 (Khairpur) and PB-35 (Mastung) and PB-40 (Khuzdar).

According to the schedule issued by the ECP, returning officers will issue public notices inviting nominations on Aug 27, which will be filed between Aug 28 to Aug 30, followed by publication of names of candidates on Aug 31. September 4 has been set as the last date for scrutiny of nomination papers by returning officers while Sept 8 will be the last date for filing of appeals against acceptance or rejection of the nomination papers.

Appellate tribunals will decide these appeals by Sept 13and a revised list of validly nominated candidates will be published the following day. September 15 has been set as the last date for withdrawal of candidatures and the final list of candidates will be published the same day. Poll symbols will be allocated to candidates on Sept 16 and the polling will be held on Oct 14.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2018