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Kulsoom’s candidature cleared
September 14, 2017
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ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday rejected the challenge to the candidature of deposed prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s spouse Begum Kulsoom, who is contesting by-election to NA-120 Lahore seat.

The bench headed by Justice Aminuddin Khan and comprising Justice Shahid Jamil and Justice Ebadur Rehman Lodhi heard the petitions filed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate Faisal Mir and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), disputing her candidature on different grounds.

The judges found no substance in the challenge and dismissed it after hearing the arguments of the two sides.

Begum Kulsoom is in London for the past two weeks and is being treated for the blood cancer. Her two operations have been conducted.

In her absence, her daughter Maryam is running her election campaign for by-poll to NA-120 to be held on September 17 and is holding public rallies and leading processions every day.

The former prime minister is also in London for the past two weeks to be with his wife at this difficult time. Their two sons Hussain and Hassan are also with her.

Immediately after filing her nomination papers for NA-120, Begum Kulsoom departed for London where she was diagnosed with throat cancer. However, it transpired later that she had blood cancer.

Because of her treatment, there is no possibility that she will be in Pakistan on Sept.17 when the polling will be held.

With the dismissal of her opponents’ pleas by the LHC, the last hurdle to her bid to contest the by-election has been removed.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz enjoys a comfortable edge over the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the NA-120 by-election, as over 53 per cent voters surveyed by Gallup Pakistan say they would vote for the PML-N, 29 per cent say they would opt for the PTI, while 4 per cent were in the favour of PPP.

According to a Gallup Pakistan Pre-Election Survey conducted in NA-120 with a representative sample of 1,500 voters, the voting trends from Election 2013 appear to be maintained in NA-120 and the by-poll outcome on Sept.17 may not be very different from the results of 2013 general election on this seat.

The crux of the survey is that 53 per cent of those surveyed said that they intend to vote for the PML-N followed by 29 per cent who favoured the PTI, 4 per cent said the PPP while 1 per cent said Jamaat-e-Islami.

Four per cent favoured other parties or independents. 9 per cent of the respondents either say they had not made up their mind or they will note vote or they refused to answer the question.

51 per cent of females compared to 55 per cent of males said they would vote for the PML-N, showing that the PML-N was slightly more popular among men in this constituency than among women voters.

Meanwhile, political activities in National Assembly constituency NA-120 are in full swing as polling day is approaching fast.

Public gatherings, corner meetings and door-to-door electioneering, especially of activists of the PML-N, PTI and PPP, are gaining momentum in every nook and cranny of the constituency.

Almost all major roads and commercial areas of the NA-120 constituency are filled with banners of political parties. Party songs are being played at full volume in and around the election offices, thus charging up activists for what is predicted to be a heated contest for the vacant seat.

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