ECP announces by-elections on 33 NA seats vacant by PTI

Polling will take place on March 16
<p>Digital Art: Afra Fatima/SAMAA Digital</p>

Digital Art: Afra Fatima/SAMAA Digital

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced to hold by-elections on 33 seats of the National Assembly (NA) on March 16.

The commission issued a schedule on Friday stating that by-elections will take place on March 16 on 33 seats which had been vacant after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers.

The by-elections will cover constituencies in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Haripur, Jhelum, Bhakar, Lahore, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Swat, Nowshera and Dera Ismail Khan.

Apart from these places, the polling will also be held in Karachi.

How many MNA seats are vacant?

A total of 131 MNAs had submitted resignations minutes before the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister in April last year.

Subsequently, NA Speaker Ashraf accepted only 11 of the resignations, stating that the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification.

After stalling the process for eight months, Ashraf accepted the resignations of 34 PTI lawmakers on January 17, 35 on January 20, and 43 on January 24 including Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid.

The legislature only comprises 211 lawmakers including 20 dissidents of PTI. Four PTI members including Imran Khan did not take oath after winning by-elections while four are on ‘long leaves’ without resigning.

The move came after the threats from the PTI to return to parliament only to foil a vote of confidence, which the party hoped President Dr Arif Alvi would seek from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.


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