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Ghotki by-polls rescheduled, to be held on July 23

July 16, 2019

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The ECP has issued a notification, rescheduling the date of by-elections from July 18 to 23. — APP/File
The ECP has issued a notification, rescheduling the date of by-elections from July 18 to 23. — APP/File

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday extended the date for by-polls for National Assembly seat NA-205 Ghotki to July 23.

According to a notification, the date for by-elections in NA-205 has been changed from July 18 to 23.

The notification read that the by-polls were extended "due to disposal of pending constitutional petitions against contesting candidates in the Sindh High Court."

Take a look: PPP accuses govt of interfering in Ghotki by-poll

However, Sindh Election Commissioner Yousaf Khattak in a statement said that the date was extended because of administrative issues.

The National Assembly seat from Ghotki fell vacant after the death of federal minister for narcotics control Ali Mohammad Mahar.

Earlier this month, the PPP had alleged that the federal government was directly interfering in the by-elections.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had visited the Gohar Palace in Khangarh, Ghotki district, where he had arrived to offer condolences on the death of Ali Mohammad Mahar to his brothers.

Later, the ECP said that a complaint against the visit was registered by Abdul Bari Pitafi, a candidate from the constituency. The candidate pointed out that PM Imran's visit to Ghotki was in violation with the ECP code of conduct as the schedule for the by-election has already been notified.

PM Imran in his response, submitted through his counsel, Babar Awan, stated that it was a "matter of public record" that a member of the federal cabinet, minister for narcotics control Ali Mohammad Mahar, had passed away and the prime minister had visited his family in Ghotki on June 19 to condole the minister's demise.

"Our client (the prime minister) has not participated in any political programme or a meeting/rally nor he made any political statement [or] press talk which is a proof of the fact that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has deep respect for the electoral laws and code of conduct," the reply said.