By-polls in one NA, three PA seats on Oct 9

The by-elections in one National Assembly and three Punjab Assembly constituencies would be held on October 9, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Monday.

This was decided in a meeting chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja to conduct by-polls in NA-157 Multan IV, PP-139 Sheikhupura, PP-241 Bahawalnagar V, and PP-209, Khanewal on October 9.

The meeting also expressed hope that the services of law enforcement agencies including the Police, Pakistan Army, Rangers, and FC would be available for the smooth conduct of by-elections.

Regarding the suspension of ECP's de-notification of PTI members of the National Assembly by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the meeting was apprised that the IHC had clarified that the verdict regarding the suspension of de-notification would only apply on the petitioner, PTI MNA Abdul Shakoor Shad.

The meeting directed the ECP secretary to get copies of IHC's verdict, and necessary clarification so that the elections' date could be decided in these nine constituencies.

The next meeting of ECP would be held on September 14 in this regard.

The commission directed the provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan to submit a report regarding local government elections in some of the remaining districts within one week.

Last week, the ECP postponed the by-polls in 13 constituencies on the grounds that polling could not be held in most of the constituencies due to the damages caused by floods and rains.

Among the constituencies in which the elections were earlier postponed are NA-157, PP-139 Sheikhupura, PP-241 Bahawalnagar, NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Karam, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana, NA-237 Malir, NA-239 Korangi Karachi, NA-246 Karachi, and PP-209 Khanewal.

It is pertinent to note that by-elections in the remaining nine constituencies of the National Assembly will be held after permission is obtained from the IHC.

The court had earlier set aside ECP's notification of de-notifying National Assembly membership of these constituencies after one of the members filed a petition before the court.

Besides, the ECP has also sought a report regarding the second phase of local bodies elections in Sindh and voting at various polling stations in Dukki, Loralai, Musakhel, and Mastung districts of Balochistan.

The provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan have been asked to submit a report within one week so that elections can be ensured in these areas at the earliest.

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