As many as 55 candidates filed their nomination papers before the Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday for the by-polls of the NA-249 seat, which fell vacant after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Faisal Vawda resigned on March 3.
The Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have each fielded three candidates while 14 nomination papers were filed by PTI candidates and seven from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan.
The remaining nomination papers included 11 submitted by independent candidates, four from the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and one candidates each from the Awami National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Junejo, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, Sunni Tehreek, Pakistan Rah-e-Haq Party, Aam Loug Ittehad and the Pak Muslim Alliance.
Meanwhile, a spat broke out between the workers of the PPP and the PTI outside the ECP’s office in West district as candidates of different parties submitted their nomination papers.
The PPP and PTI workers shouted slogans against each other. Regional party leaders on either side intervened before the workers could resort to a physical altercation.
Earlier, workers of the PPP and PML-N engaged in hostile sloganeering against each other before their respective regional heads reminded them that both the parties were part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement.
Wednesday was the last day for the submission of nomination papers. The ECP is to complete scrutiny of the papers by March 25 and the last date to challenge the returning officer’s decision has been set at March 29 and the Appellate Tribunal will decide appeals filed against the RO's decision by April 5. Candidates will be able to withdraw their candidature by April 7. The by-polls are slated for April 8.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2021.
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