ISLAMABAD: In a surprising move, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has announced to contest by-elections on all the nine National Assembly seats that fell vacant after the National Assembly speaker accepted resignations from his party's MNAs.
The NA speaker had accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs — nine on general seats and two on reserved — under Article 64(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan. The MNAs had tendered their resignations in April.
But in a bid to secure the seats back after the party's recent Punjab by-poll victory, Khan has decided to take on the coalition parties in the by-elections that will take place across Pakistan next month.
In the Punjab by-polls, Imran Khan led PTI's election campaign and his party managed to secure 15 out of the 20 seats that were up for grabs. Analysts also cite rising inflation and other problems as the reasons for PML-N's loss in the by-polls.
Reacting to the PTI’s announcement that Imran Khan will contest by-elections on all the nine vacant seats of the Nation Assembly, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, said that the party decided to field Khan on all the vacant seats as it could not find candidates for the upcoming by-polls.
Speaking on Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath”, Ahsan Iqbal said that PTI was facing a huge dilemma these days as people are not accepting their negative policies.
“There is a split within the party and PTI has failed to find candidates for the [vacant] seats,” he added.
Responding to a question about Imran Khan’s demand for general elections and dissolution of the NA, the PML-N leader asked why does he not ask his CMs in Punjab and KP to dissolve the provincial assemblies to create an environment of general elections.
“He does not have the courage to dissolve the provincial assemblies as his MPs are not with him,” said Ahsan Iqbal.
Criticising the PTI chief, Ahsan Iqbal claimed that foreign donors are demanding of Imran Khan to create anarchy and instability in the country to reverse the ongoing recovery and economic progress.
Referring to the ECP’s ruling in the prohibited funding case, the PML-N leader said that Khan’s real face has been exposed before the nation, adding that he had been accepting funds from Indian nationals and the enemies of the country.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued the schedule for by-elections on the nine NA seats and fixed September 25 as the date for polling.
The ECP sought names from the PTI on the vacant reserved seats after two women members resigned. The nominations for the reserved women's seats can be submitted from August 10 to 13.
As per the schedule, the list of nominees will be released on August 14, scrutiny will take place on August 17, appeals against the returning officer’s decision can be submitted by August 20, and a decision will be taken in the appellate tribunal on August 25.
The revised list of candidates will be released on August 26, after which candidates can withdraw their nomination papers till August 27.
Moreover, the final list of candidates will be released by August 29, and on the same day, election symbols will also be allotted.
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