ISLAMABAD, Sep 18 (APP): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finalized arrangements for holding transparent by-elections on the vacant seat of National Assembly NA 162 Sahiwal-III on Monday.
According to schedule, the polling will start at 8 am and continue till 5 pm sans any formal interval.
A total of 340,347 voters have been registered in the constituency, out of which as many as 149,354 are women and 190,993 are men. The ECP has established 293 polling stations for smooth polling process including 83 for men, 84 for women and 126 polling stations are common for both.
As many as 22 polling stations have been declared as most sensitive.
District Coordination Officer Sahiwal Shaukat Ali Khan Khichi has already announced local holiday in entire district Sahiwal.
The seat had become vacant after court disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s member of National Assembly Rai Hassan Nawaz Khan for asset concealment.
There are total seven candidates in the run for the NA seat. However, main contest is expected among PML-N’s Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail Jatt, Rai Murtaza Iqbal of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PPP candidate Shahzad Saeed Cheema.
The seat fell vacant, when the Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld a decision of the Election Tribunal to declare the election of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Rai Hasan Nawaz Khan null and void on the allegation of not declaring his assets with the ECP.
Later, Haji Ayub had challenged Rai Hasan’s victory with the Election Tribunal, alleging that Rai had not declared all of his assets with the Election Commission of Pakistan. He also accused the PTI lawmaker of being a loan defaulter.
At which, the Election Tribunal ordered the ECP to hold a by-election on the National Assembly seat, however Rai Hasan Nawaz Khan moved Supreme Court against the decision.
Afterwards, deciding the case, the apex court also upheld the tribunal’s decision, rejecting the plea filed by Rai Hasan Nawaz Khan.
In 2013, general elections Rai Hasan Nawaz Khan secured 88,974 votes followed by Haji Muhammad Ayub (independent), who secured 75,756 votes.
The ECP has already advised candidates, political parties contesting the by-elections to stop holding public meetings including on electronic and print media from Saturday midnight (Sep 17).
The candidates violating the deadline would have to endure rigorous imprisonment upto six months or fine upto Rs 100,000 or both.
As per rules, the candidates, political parties participating in the elections must stop their election campaign 48 hours before the polling day.They must stop their campaign from (Saturday) mid night falling between September 17-18).
They must adhere to law to pave the way for holding by-elections in a peaceful atmosphere.