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MINGORA: The participants of multi-party conference here on Monday decided to field joint candidates against the ruling PTI in the by-poll for provincial assembly seats PK-3 and PK-7.

The local leaders of ANP, PML-N, JI, JUI-F and PPP participated in the conference to chalk out a strategy for the by-poll on the vacant seats in the district. The by-elections will be held on October 14.

PTI candidate Dr Haider Ali Khan had won a National Assembly seat and a provincial assembly seat. He retained the National Assembly seat and vacated the provincial assembly seat PK-3. Similarly, PTI’s Dr Amad vacated the provincial assembly seat PK-7 as he had also won elections from PK-6 constituency.

The local leaders of different political parties decided to field joint candidates in the by-poll against PTI, which had swept the recently held elections in the district.

Two provincial assembly seats in district vacated by PTI MNAs

“We discussed our strategy regarding the upcoming by-elections for PK-3 and PK-7, vacated by the PTI candidates. The leaders of all the parties agreed to field joint candidates against PTI in the by-elections,” said Abdullah Yousafzai, a local leader of ANP.

He said that although the conference did not reach any specific strategy or formula regarding nomination of candidates, yet the participants agreed to join hands in the by-elections.

“We only decided to field joint candidates for both the constituencies. However, we did not nominate or finalise names of the candidates for the by-poll. More time has been given to each political party to decide or nominate such candidates, who are acceptable to all,” said Mr Yousafzai.

He said that leaders of different political parties presented useful suggestions during the conference regarding the by-poll. He said that the participants of the conference were optimistic to defeat PTI candidates.

“We will bring forth our candidates after proper homework and strategy. We are hopeful that our nominated candidates will win the elections,” he said.

However, political analysts in Swat said that defeating PTI candidates in both the constituencies in the by-elections would not be easy for the opposition parties.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2018