Sunday, August 14, 2022
ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairperson Imran Khan’s nomination papers have been filed from all nine constituencies of the National Assembly, Geo News reported.
For the first time in the country's electoral history, a candidate will contest from nine constituencies simultaneously as Imran Khan has decided to take part in the by-elections on all NA seats. He also set this record back in the 2018 general elections when he won polls from five constituencies across the country.
His papers were submitted by PTI leaders from constituencies NA-22, 24, 31, 45, 108, 118, 237, 239 and 246 of Mardan, Charsadda, Peshawar, Kurram, Faisalabad, Nankana, Malir, Korangi and Karachi’s District South, respectively. In these constituencies, he will face candidates from a multi-party ruling coalition.
The PTI’s covering candidates have also filed their nomination papers. In the meantime, the PTI has fielded Shandana Gulzar, Rohaila Hamid and Mehwish Ali Khan on the reserved seats for women.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced September 25 as the date for the by-polls after National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had on July 28 accepted the resignations of 11 PTI lawmakers -- nine on general and two on reserved seats.
The PTI chair made up his mind to contest from all nine constituencies after the party's landslide victory in last month's Punjab by-polls, wherein the party won 15 out of the 20 seats.
Last week, the Islamabad High Court rejected the PTI's plea seeking the suspension of the by-polls schedule. The IHC said the election process will continue and by-elections in 123 other constituencies also be completed later.
There are 76 candidates, including Imran Khan, who submitted their papers for three NA seats -- NA-237, NA-239 and NA-246 -- in Karachi. There are Khan's two covering candidates from NA-237 and NA-246.
Khan's nomination forms were submitted by former Sindh governor Imran Ismail for NA-246 (South-I), Captain (retd) Jameel for NA-237 (Malir-II) and MPA Raja Azhar for NA-239 (Korangi-I).
Jameel and former MNA Shakoor Shad are the covering candidates for Imran Khan from NA-237 and NA-246, respectively. Shad won this seat in 2018 elections.
Muhammad Tariq, Rehan Mansoor, Mushtaq Ahmed and Asad Azad are contesting these seats as independent candidates. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also fielded Amir Khan, Syed Nayyar Raza and Sikandar Khatoon from these seats.
Meantime, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has filed nomination forms of Abdul Hakeem Baloch for NA-237, Noman Abdullah Murad for NA-239 and Yousaf Baloch for NA-246.
Other candidates include Maulana Noorul Haq of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Muhammad Junaid of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, who have filed their forms for NA-246.
The ECP last week 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 by 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.
In case the PTI chairman wins from all constituencies, he will have to keep one and resign from the rest, and this process will cost the national exchequer millions of rupees.
According to sources in the ECP, the minimum expenditure incurred in an election in one constituency is around Rs50-100 million, while in sensitive and far-flung areas the cost is approximately around Rs100 million.
Consequently, sources added that in order to conduct elections in nine constituencies, it is estimated that Rs500-900 million will be needed as expenses include printing and purchase of material used such as ballot papers, forms bags, etc.
If Khan wins the elections, in any case, by-elections will once again be held in all nine constituencies which will lead to an expenditure of nearly Rs500-900 million.