ISLAMABAD: The poll campaign for by-elections in around two dozen National and provincial assembly constituencies came to a close as all is set for the first major by-poll exercise after 2024 general elections on April 21 (Sunday).

A senior official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) told Dawn that the campaign ended on midnight of April 19 and 20.

According to the commission, by-elections will be held for five vacant seats of the National Assembly; 12 of the Punjab Assembly, two each of the Khyber-Pakh­tunkhwa and Balochistan legislatures as well as one of the Sindh Assembly.

In addition, re-polling in all constituencies of PB-50 (Killa Abdullah) will also take place on the same day. The general elections for NA-8, Bajaur, and PK-22, Bajaur, were postponed because of the murder of a candidate, Rehan Zeb Khan.

Polling will be held tomorrow for five NA, 17 provincial assembly seats

As for NA-44, Dera Ismail Khan, the constituency was vacated by Ali Amin Gandapur, who retained his provisional assembly seat to become KP’s chief minister. Similarly, NA-119, Lahore, was vacated by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, who preferred to become an MPA from PP-159.

PM Shehbaz Sharif won polls for two NA and two provincial legislature seats. He left the NA-132, Kasur, as well as Lahore’s PP-158 and PP-164 seats vacant, and retained NA-123, Lahore, seat.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari won two seats in the National Assembly. He retained NA-194, Larkana, seat and left NA-196, Qamber Shahdadkot, seat vacant. PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari vacated NA-207, Shaheed Benazirabad, seat to be elected as President of the country. Mr Zardari’s daughter, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, has already been elected unopposed from the seat vacated by Mr Zardari.

The polls for KP Assembly seat PK-91, Kohat, were postponed after the death of an ANP leader. A Sindh Assembly seat fell vacant after the death of Abdul Aziz Junejo, who won elections from PS-80, Dadu. In Balochistan, BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal retained NA-256 seat and left PB-20, Khuzdar, seat vacant.

In Punjab, PML-N leader Ghulam Abbas retained NA-53, Rawalpindi, seat and left PP-22 seat.

Similarly, PML-Q’s Chaudhry Salik Hussain retained NA-64 and vacated PP-32, Gujrat, seat.

The PP-36, Wazirabad, seat fell vacant after Muhammad Ahmad Chattha did not take oath. The PP-54, Narowal, seat fell vacant as PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal did not take oath. He preferred to retain NA-76, Narowal, seat. The PP-139, Shei­k­hupura, fell vacant because PML-N’s Ra­­­na Tanveer did not take oath. Like­wise, the prime minister’s son Hamza Shehbaz did not take oath for PP-147, Lahore.

The PP-149, Lahore, fell vacant because of IPP’s Aleem Khan not taking oath. He retained NA-117, Lahore, seat. The polls for PP-266, Rahim Yar Khan, were postponed because of the death of a candidate. The PP-290, Dera Ghazi Khan, was declared vacant after Awais Leghari did not take the oath.

The general elections for NA-8, Bajaur, and PK-22, Bajaur, were postponed because of the murder of a candidate, Rehan Zeb Khan. As for NA-44, Dera Ismail Khan, it was left vacant by Ali Amin Gandapur, who retained his provisional assembly seat to become the KP’s chief minister.

Similarly, NA-119, Lahore, was vacated by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, who became an MPA from PP-159.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif won elections from two NA and two provincial legislature seats. He left NA-132, Kasur, as well as Lahore’s PP-158 and PP-164 seats vacant, opting to retain NA-123, Lahore.

In Punjab, PML-N leader Ghulam Abbas retained NA-53 Rawalpindi and left PP-22. Similarly, PML-Q’s Chaudhry Salik Hussain retained NA-64 and vacated PP-32, Gujrat.

The PP-36, Wazirabad, fell vacant after son of former speaker National Assembly and PTI leader Muhammad Ahmad Chattha did not take the oath and retained National Assembly seat from NA-66, Wazirabad.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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