The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday clarified that PTI Chairman Imran Khan's nomination for the NA-108 (Faisalabad) by-election was rejected due to "insufficient details regarding his assets" and not because of any issues with his signatures.
A statement from the office of the Punjab election commissioner confirmed that the returning officer rejected the nomination.
"Imran Khan's nomination papers were not rejected due to signature verification issue. Imran Khan's nomination papers were rejected due to insufficient details of assets," the statement quoted the returning officer as explaining the decision's rationale.
PTI central secretary information Farrukh Habib criticised the rejection and said it would be immediately challenged, adding that Imran would definitely contest the NA-108 by-election.
The National Assembly speaker had on July 28 accepted the resignations of 11 MNAs — nine on general seats and two on reserved seats for women — belonging to the PTI, triggering recriminations from the party for the "piecemeal" acceptance, as well as a legal battle in the Islamabad High Court. The MNAs were denotified on July 30.
The PTI lawmakers were among the more than 100 who resigned en masse on April 11, two days after Imran was ousted as the prime minister in a no-confidence vote.
According to an issued ECP statement, the by-elections for the constituencies of NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib and Karachi's NA-237, NA-239, and NA-246 will be held on September 25.
Just hours after the ECP announced the schedule, Imran had announced his candidature on all nine vacant seats in the by-polls that will be held on Sept 25.
On Friday, the PTI chief filed nominations for the NA-22 Mardan and NA-24 Charsadda seats, while on Saturday, his representatives filed his nominations for the remaining NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib and Karachi’s NA-237, NA-239, and NA-246 constituencies.
The ECP accepted his nomination papers a day ago for the three Karachi constituencies.