LAHORE: PPP central Punjab President Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Saturday NA-133 bypoll, scheduled for Dec 5, is a test case for the party.

Running a campaign for party candidate Aslam Gill, who is also the PPP’s Lahore chapter president, Mr Ashraf said the PPP would secure anti-PML-N vote in the constituency as the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf appeared to be ‘irrelevant’ because of the worst price hike and inflation the Imran Khan government inflicted on the people.

“Winning this seat means the PPP will be in a position to form government in Punjab in the next general elections,” the former prime minister said and appealed to party workers to shun their differences and work hard for the success of Mr Gill.

In a blow to the ruling PTI, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had rejected nomination papers of former special assistant to the prime minister on food security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and his wife for NA-133 over a “technical” glitch.

The papers of Mr Cheema and his wife Musarrat (his covering candidate) were rejected by the returning officer (RO) on the grounds that the “proposers and seconders for the two were not residents of the constituency as required under the election laws”.

The election tribunal on Friday too had dismissed the appeals of Cheema and his wife against rejection of their papers by the returning officer. The seat fell vacant after the death of PML-N’s Lahore President Pervaiz Malik. His wife, Shaista Pervaiz, is the PML-N candidate for the by-poll.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2021

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