- ECP all set to hold by-polls on 2 Karachi, one Peshawar seat, vacated by PTI
- PTI in a comfortable position to win NA-247; Jibran Nasir tries luck in PS-111
- ANP, PTI face off in PK-71
The Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) election commissioners informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday that preparations for by-elections in Peshawar’s PK-71 and Karachi’s NA-247 and PS-111 had been completed.
Though, by-polls were held across the country on October 14, but the election couldn’t be held on these which were vacated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Arif Alvi, Imran Ismael and Shah Farman.
Alvi’s seat stood vacant after he was sworn in as president; Shah Farman was appointed as KP governor while Imran Ismael vacated his seat to become Sindh governor.
Meanwhile, the ECP has finalised all necessary arrangements to hold the elections in a peaceful manner. Polling material is also being transported to the polling stations under the supervision of Pakistan Army personnel.
Prominent candidates in the run for NA-247 include PTI’s Aftab Hussain Siddiqui, PSP’s Arshad Vohra, MQM-P’s Sadiq Iftikhar and PPP’s Qaiser Khan Nizamani. It may be noted former MQM-P convener Farooq Sattar was defeated by Alvi in the same constituency with a wide margin.
Alvi had won the seat comfortably after securing 91,020 votes. His closest two contenders were Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan’s Syed Zaman Shah Jaffery with 24,680 votes and MQM’s Farooq Sattar with 22,780 votes. According to the ECP, there are 240 polling stations in the constituency where around 546,451 voters, 295,567 men and 250,884 women, will be able to cast votes.
It is being said that the PTI is in a comfortable position to win the seat again in the absence of strong opposition.
At least 11 candidates, notably PTI’s Shehzad Qureshi, MQM-P’s Jehanzeb Mughal, PML-N’s Mohammad Zahid Hussain and activist Muhammad Jibran Nasir, are in the run for PS-111.
There are at least 178,965 registered voters, who will be able to cast votes in 80 polling stations set up across the constituency.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is supporting the PPP after both parties had reached an agreement to support each other in the by-polls. The MQM has fielded candidates but its campaign is nowhere as enthusiastic as those from yester-years as a result of its founder Altaf Hussain’s infamous speech in 2016 which was the end of MQM-era Karachi. Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal(MMA) has not fielded any candidate.
PTI’s Zulfiqar Khan, Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Salahuddin, and independent candidates Dildar Khan, Abdul Karim Khan, and Fazale Haq Kohi Damani are contesting for the PK-71 by-election.