PESHAWAR: A total of 42 nomination papers have been filed, including four by former prime minister and chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan, for the by-elections to fill four vacant seats of National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The respective returning officers on Sunday released the initial lists of contesting candidates according to which six candidates filed nomination papers for NA-22 Mardan, nine for NA-24 Charsadda, 10 for NA-31 Peshawar and 17 for NA-45 Kurram.

Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on August 17. The last date for filing of appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers will be August 20, whereas the last date for deciding the appeals by the appellate tribunal will be August 25.

The last date for the withdrawal of candidature and publication of revised lists will be August 27. The returning officers for the general seats will allot symbols to the candidates on August 29, whereas polling for those seats will take place on September 25.

Scrutiny of nomination papers on 17th

Five seats, four general and one reserved for women, fell vacant in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to resignations by the PTI lawmakers.

Those who filed nomination papers in Mardan include former premier Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, for MNA Ali Mohammad Khan, who had vacated the seat, leader of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Mohammad Qasim, who was runners-up in the 2018 general elections, Mohammad Sarwar, Abdul Wasi and Ghulam Rasool.

The candidates for NA-24 Charssada include Imran Khan, former MNA Fazal Mohammad Khan, provincial chief of Awami Naional Party Aimal Wali Khan, ANP leader Shakeel Bashir Khan, Azizullah Khan, Falak Niaz, Fawad Ahmad, Mujeebur Rehman and Sparlay Mohmand.

Similarly, the candidates for NA-31 Peshawar include Imran Khan, former federal minister and ANP leader Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, former MNA Shaukat Ali, who had vacated this seat, former senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, Saeedullah Khan, Shaukat Ali, Abdul Qadir, Emran Khan, Mohammad Aslam and Mohammad Ashraf Dar.

Haji Ghulam Bilour, who had won five times National Assembly seat from this area, had lost to PTI’s Shaukat Ali in the 2018 general elections. He had also lost to Imran Khan in 2013 general polls, but had won during the by-polls when the seat was vacated by Mr Khan.

Moreover, those who filed nomination papers for NA-45 Kurram include Imran Khan, former MNA Fakhar Zaman of PTI, Mohammad Zahir Shah, Jamil Khan, Sarfaraz Khan, Abdul Khaliq, Shah Nawaz Khan, Khalilur Rehman, Abdul Qadir, Mohammad Shoaib, Sadiq Khan, Azram Khan, Sher Mohammad Khan, Jahanzeb, Niaz Badshah, Eid Gul Mengal and Saifullah Khan.

All the four former MNAs, who had vacated these four seats, are the covering candidates of Imran Khan in the by-polls.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Election Commissioner Mohammad Farid Afridi, who is returning officer for the seat reserved for women from the province, also released list of women, who filed their papers.

Those who filed papers include former MNA Shandana Gulzar Khan, who had vacated the seat by resigning, Mahvesh Ali Khan and Roheela Hamid.

As the seat was vacated by PTI, therefore, it would be filled through a candidate of the same party from the priority list provided by the party.

The ECP has already banned postings and transfers of government officers as well as announcing any developmental scheme in the districts and constituencies, respectively, where schedule for by-elections has been issued.

Moreover, the ECP also assigned magisterial powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure to the district returning officers and returning officers appointed to conduct the by-elections.

The officers will exercise the powers of magistrate first class in respect to different offences provided in sections 169 and 171 of the Elections Act and will try those offences summarily.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2022

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