Sheikh Rashid's nomination papers for NA-26 by-poll accepted

February 16 has been set as the last date for filing appeals against the decision of ROs

By
Shabbir Dar
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking during a press conference in Islamabad. — AFP/File
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed speaking during a press conference in Islamabad. — AFP/File

  • Nomination papers accepted by RO, says Rashid's nephew.
  • By-election to take place on March 16.  
  • Appeals can be filed against Rashid's nomination till Feb 13.


RAWALPINDI: The nomination papers of Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed have been accepted by the returning officer (RO) on Saturday for a by-election on NA-26, Rawalpindi.

The by-elections on 33 National Assembly (NA) seats are scheduled to take place as per the schedule by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on March 16. The name of the final contesting candidates will be made public on February 9 whereas the scrutiny of the nomination papers will be taking place till February 13.

February 16 has been set as the last date for filing appeals against the decision of ROs.

The objections on Sheikh Rashid's nomination papers can be submitted by February 13, however, no objections have been filed yet.

RO Nausheen Israr had summoned the AML chief — who is in Adiala Jail on judicial remand in a murder plot allegations case — to her office to join the scrutiny of his nomination papers and wrote a letter to the jail authorities.

Meanwhile, workers of the AML and its ally Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gathered outside the RO's office this morning, while Rashid's nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafique, appeared before the official.

While talking to the media outside the RO's office, Shafique said that the election official had accepted Rashid's nomination papers.

He said that he was informed via a phone call from the jail at 7pm on Friday that Rashid would not be presented before the RO.

"The jail superintendent refused to comply with the magistrate's directive," he said.

Shafique added that the former minister was taken to meet someone while returning from a court in Murree.

He said Rashid was being asked to change his loyalties but had said that he would stick with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

By-elections for 33 vacant NA seats

On January 27, the ECP had announced that by-elections for 33 vacant seats will be held on March 16 after the approval of the resignations of PTI members of the lower house

The party's lawmakers had resigned en masse following the ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in April last year.

"In pursuance of Section 57 of the Elections Act, 2017 (Act No. XXXIII of 2017), read with Section 102 and clause (4) of Article 224 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Election Commission hereby calls upon the electors of the undermentioned constituencies of the National Assembly of Pakistan, which have become vacant due to resignations and specifies in relation thereto the following dates for by-elections," the notification issued by the ECP had read.