ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued the schedule for election on 33 National Assembly seats, setting March 16 as the by-polls date.
The seats had fallen vacant after the speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, accepted 35 more resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmakers earlier this months.
The speaker later accepted more resignation in two parts followed by their de-notification by the ECP, taking the total number of those de-notified this month to 113, including 86 members elected on general seats, 23 on reserved seats for women and four on reserved seats for religious minorities.
The schedule has been announced for the seats, which fell vacant after 35 members, including two on reserved seats for women, had been de-notified on January 17. They included Sheikh Rashid, Asad Umar, Murad Saeed, Mohammad Hammad Azhar, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Shafqat Mahmood Khan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, Zartaj Gul, Malik Mohammad Amir Dogar, Omar Ayub Khan, Asad Qaiser, Pervaiz Khattak, Sheharyar Afridi, Imran Khattak, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Ali Amin Khan, Noorul Haq Qadri, Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, Ali Nawaz Awan, Sadaqat Ali Khan, Shafique, Mansoor Hayat Khan, Fawad Ahmed, Sanaullah Khan Mastikhel, Faheem Khan, Saifur Rehman, Muhammad Alamgir Khan, Aftab Hussain Saddique, Attaullah, Aftab Jhangir, Mohammad Najeeb Haroon and Mohammad Qasim Khan Suri.
According to the schedule, the returning officers (ROs) will issue a public notice in this regard on Feb 3 while candidates will be able to file their nomination papers with the ROs from Feb 6 to 8, followed by the issuance of list of the nominated candidates next day.
Scrutiny of documents will be carried out till Feb 13, followed by publication of a revised list of candidates on Feb 21. However, contesting candidates will be able to withdraw their candidature by next day and the final list of candidates will be issued same day.
The candidates will be allotted election symbols on February 23 and polling will be conducted on March 16.
The PTI legislators had tendered resignations en masse in April 2022, following the ouster of Imran Khan through a no-confidence vote.
Prior to acceptance of resignations in three separate batches this month, the NA speaker had accepted the resignations of only 11 PTI lawmakers on July 28 last year.
The constituencies where by-elections will be held on March 16 include NA-4 Swat-III NA-17 Haripur-I NA-18 Swabi-I NA-25 Nowshera-I NA-26 Nowshera-II, NA-32 Kohat NA-38 Dera Ismail Khan-I NA-43 Khyber-I NA-52 Islamabad-I NA-53 Islamabad-II NA-54 Islamabad-III NA-57 Rawalpindi-I NA-59 Rawalpindi-III NA-60 Rawalpindi-IV NA-62 Rawalpindi-VI NA-63 Rawalpindi-VII NA-67 Jhelum-II NA-97 Bhakkar-I NA-126 Lahore-IV NA-130 Lahore-VIII NA-155 Multan-II NA-156 Multan-III NA-191 Dera Ghazi Khan-III NA-241 Korangi Karachi-III NA-242 Karachi East-I NA-243 Karachi East-II NA-244 Karachi East-III NA-247 Karachi South-II NA-250 Karachi West-III NA-252 Karachi West-V NA-254 Karachi Central-II NA-256 Karachi Central-IV and NA-265 Quetta-II.
As the ECP is supposed to conduct by-polls in 93 National Assembly constituencies, the schedule for the rest of the constituencies is also expected to be announced soon.
Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2023
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