ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Thursday constituted an 11-member parliamentary board under its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to finalise candidates for the upcoming by-elections on National Assembly (NA) seats.
According to an official notification issued by the party chairman’s secretariat, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former Senate chairman Nayyar Bokhari, the party’s secretary general Farhatullah Babar, Faisal Kundi and Faryal Talpur are also members of the board which would scrutinise the applications of the candidates for the by-polls to be held on 33 NA seats in March.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already announced schedule for the by-polls on seats which fell vacant after acceptance of resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers by the NA speaker where polling will be held on March 16.
The party had already formally invited applications for a party ticket from candidates asking them to address their applications to PPP-Parliamentarians president Asif Zardari with a Rs40,000 bank draft.
The PPP had directed aspirants of the party tickets from Sindh and Balochistan to send their applications to Bilawal House, Karachi, whereas the candidates from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab had been asked to send their applications to Zardari House, Islamabad.
The party has set Friday (today) as the last date for submission of applications.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan has also announced that he would contest by-elections on all 33 NA seats, vacated following de-seating of PTI lawmakers by the ECP last month. According to the PTI, the party leaders who were de-seated from the said constituencies would submit their nomination papers as covering candidates for Mr Khan.
This is not the first time Imran Khan has decided to contest polls on multiple seats against the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). In previous by-elections, held in October last year, the PTI chairman contested from eight constituencies and emerged victorious in six.
The PPP has decided to take part in the electoral exercise despite the fact that other parties in the ruling coalition, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), are yet to make a decision in this regard.
Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2023
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