ECP decides to hold by-polls on eight national, provincial seats
The Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to hold the by-poll for eight vacant seats of different constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies, reported 24NewsHD TV Channel Thursday.
The ECP has directed the provincial governments to make sure the implementation of the coronavirus SOPs while holding the elections.
The decision came in a meeting held under the chair of the chief election commissioner.
The ECP has also directed to issue the schedule of the by-elections in the eight constituencies of the country.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had barred Election Commission from holding by-elections till January 31, 2021 in the wake of coronavirus.
There are two vacant seats in the National Assembly while there are three vacant seats in Sindh assembly and one seat each in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
The elections for the national assembly will be held in two constituencies NA-75 Sialkot and NA-45 Orakzai Agency.
Three Sindh Assembly constituencies include PS-43 Sanghar, PS-52 Umarkot and PS-88 Malir.
In Punjab, the election will be held in PP-51 Gujranwala, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in PK-63 Nowshera and in Balochistan in PB-20 Pashin.
All these seats have been lying vacant due to the deaths of the winning candidates in these constituencies during the 2018 general elections.
The decision came a day after the ruling party in Sindh, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has demanded the ECP to hold the by-elections in three provincial constituencies deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter written to the ECP, PPP leader Taj Haider asked the Commission to conduct by-elections in three Sindh Assembly constituencies – PS-43 Sanghar, PS-52 Umarkot and PS-88 Malir.
Taj Haider was of the view that the coronavirus pandemic was almost non-existent in these three constituencies. The letter stated that under Article 224(4) an election on a vacant should be held within 60 days. Many more days have passed after the first 60 days, it added.
The letter argued that general elections were held in Gilgit Baltistan amid coronavirus spread and requested for holding by-elections on the above-said vacant seats without further delay.
The federal government is trying to hold the Senate elections one month earlier than scheduled in February amid the protest campaign launched by the opposition parties and holding the by-elections would help complete the electoral college for holding the Senate elections.