NA-48 by-election: 42 candidates in the running

PML-N puts forward names of 25 candidates; three others rejected; three yet to submit.


Our Correspondent July 17, 2013
PML-N puts forward names of 25 candidates; three others rejected; three yet to submit. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:


The Returning Officer (RO) for NA-48 on Tuesday accepted 42 nomination papers from candidates of different political parties for the constituency’s upcoming by-election on August 22.


Of the 45 candidates to have submitted their nomination papers, 25 are from the Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N).

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Makhdoom Javed Hashmi won the seat on election day by securing 73,878 votes against PML-N candidate Anjum Aqeel Khan’s 52,205. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Mian Muhammad Aslam won 25,010 votes and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Faisal Sakhi Butt 9,177 votes.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, there are 282,850 eligible voters from NA-48 — of which 150,343 are males and 132,507 females — which mostly comprises Islamabad’s urban areas.



Khan, Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah, former MNA Mohammad Hanif Abbasi, and Sidiqul Farooq are among the major PML-N contenders for the constituency’s by-election. Abbasi lost his seat in NA-55 on the election day to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Earlier, Muhammad Ishtiaq, a resident of Islamabad, had filed a petition against Abbasi’s candidature for NA-48, citing his alleged involvement in the Ephedrine case. The constituency’s RO, however, rejected the petition.

The three PTI candidates who filed their papers are Chaudhry Mohammad Ubaidullah, Raja Mohsin Ali and Asad Umer, who was awarded a party ticket after Adnan Haider Randhawa had withdrawn in his favour.

Three candidates have yet to file their nomination papers, for which the submission deadline is Wednesday (today).

Meanwhile, the nomination papers of three others were rejected, namely independent Hassan Ali Raja, Jamaat Al-Kalam’s Zulfiqar Raja and PML-N’s Ahsanullah.

The final list of the candidates will be announced on July 31.

Political observers believe that the ruling PML-N has an advantage in the by-election as it has already formed a government in the centre and in Punjab. They claim there will also be a lower turnout as compared to Election Day, which may favour the PML-N.

However, they also opined that PTI’s Umer was a strong contender, particularly if the party’s chairman is able to hold a few rallies in the capital.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.

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