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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Sheikh Rashid's nomination papers accepted for NA-26 by-poll

Election Commission of Pakistan is set to hold by-elections on 33 National Assembly constituencies on March 16

By Shabbir Dar
February 11, 2023
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking to the media in this undated photo. — AFP/File
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking to the media in this undated photo. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: The returning officer (RO) for NA-26 Rawalpindi declared Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed's nomination papers valid for the upcoming National Assembly (NA) by-polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is set to hold by-elections on 33 NA constituencies on March 16. The names of candidates will be published on February 9, while ROs will carry out the scrutiny of nomination papers till February 13.

The last date to file appeals against an RO’s decision on the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers is February 16.

Objections over the nomination papers submitted by Rashid can be submitted by February 13. However, no objections have been received yet.

RO Nausheen Israr had summoned the AML chief — who is in Adiala Jail on judicial remand in a murder plot allegations case — to her office to join the scrutiny of his nomination papers and wrote a letter to the jail authorities.

Meanwhile, workers of the AML and its ally Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf gathered outside the RO's office this morning, while Rashid's nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafique, appeared before the official.

Speaking to the media outside the RO's office, Shafique said that the election official had accepted Rashid's nomination papers.

He said that it was informed via a phone call from the jail at 7pm on Friday that Rashid would not be presented before the RO.

"The jail superintendent refused to comply with the magistrate's directive," he said.

Shafique added that the former minister was taken to meet someone while returning from a court in Murree.

He said Rashid was being asked to change his loyalties but had said that he would stick with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

By-elections for 33 vacant NA seats

On January 27, the ECP had announced that by-elections for 33 vacant seats will be held on March 16 after the approval of the resignations of PTI members of the Lower House

The party's lawmakers had resigned en masse from the Lower House of Parliament following the ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in April last year.

“In pursuance of Section 57 of the Elections Act, 2017 (Act No. XXXIII of 2017), read with Section 102 and clause (4) of Article 224 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Election Commission hereby calls upon the electors of the undermentioned constituencies of the National Assembly of Pakistan, which have become vacant due to resignations and specifies in relation thereto the following dates for by-elections,” the notification issued by the ECP had read.

Elections schedule

According to the election schedule, the last date for the appellate tribunal to decide on the appeals is February 20. After this, the revised list of candidates will be published on February 21.

The last date to withdraw candidature and release of revised list of candidates is February 22 while the election symbols will be allotted on February 23 and the polls will be held on March 16.