The PTI has written a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to allot “lota” as a symbol to ruling party candidates after they announced an electoral alliance for the upcoming by-polls on the 20 vacant seats in Punjab.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, in a letter to the ECP, informed the body that Pakistan is going through a “multi-dimensional crisis due to a foreign conspiracy”.
The former information minister told the commission that the parties that have formed the coalition government at the Centre fought the 2018 polls as rivals and are ideologically different.
“This alliance started with the no-confidence motion presented against the PTI government on March 8, 2022, when history’s worst horse-trading took place at the Sindh House,” said Fawad.
He added that his party back then had asked the ECP to take notice of the matter.
The PTI leader further said that “selling of conscience, horse-trading and floor crossing” that began at the National Assembly eventually reached Punjab, adding that in the Punjab Assembly, 20 lawmakers came forward who had gone against the law and Constitution and surrendered their conscience to wealth.
“As a result, the ECP declared their seats vacant and ordered by-polls in the constituencies,” said Fawad, adding that the PPP, PML-N and other parties that promoted horse-trading announced forming an electoral alliance for the by-polls via a press conference on June 22.
“Therefore, all these parties should be given a uniform electoral symbol and not separate ones. In such a situation, it is our opinion that they should be given the lota as a symbol,” said Fawad.
He added that the PTI believes that the allotment of the symbol would help the public determine who to vote for and also claimed that it would have a positive impact on voter turnout as well.
The PTI wrote the letter after PPP, a day earlier, announced that the party would support PML-N's candidates who will take part in the upcoming by-elections on the 20 vacant seats of the Punjab Assembly.
The seats had fallen vacant after the ECP had unseated PTI’s dissident lawmakers for voting against party policy.
The polling will take place on July 17, as per the ECP schedule that was issued on May 26.
Meanwhile, the nomination papers for the by-elections can be submitted from June 4 to 7 and this will be followed by the returning officers carrying out scrutiny of the nomination papers till June 11. However, the appeals against the returning officers’ decisions can be filed till June 15.
"In view of the country’s interest, the PPP has decided to support the PML-N’s candidate for all the 20 vacant seats," PPP provincial minister Hassan Murtaza said while addressing a joint press conference flanked by PML-N’s Attaullah Tarar and Malik Ahmad Khan.
Both the parties, however, will remain political rivals during the next general elections, clarified the PPP’s leader.
However, the PPP’s candidates will withdraw their nomination papers for the upcoming by-elections on the seats.
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