Pakistan opposition parties agree to contest by-elections jointly - GulfToday

Pakistan opposition parties agree to contest by-elections jointly


Maryam Nawaz leaves after addressing a protest rally in front of the election commission in Islamabad. File/AFP

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

The opposition parties under the umbrella of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) have started cooperating with each other in the by-elections.

As part of the understanding, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates for the by-polls in NA-75 Daska (Sialkot) and PP-51 Wazirabad (Gujranwala) have withdrawn their nomination papers in favour of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominees in both the constituencies.

Before that, the PML-N announced that it would field candidates in the by-elections in Sindh against the PPP cardholders.


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Apart from withdrawing their candidates, such political parties extend support to the candidates in whose favour they take back their papers.

PPP Punjab vice president and former Punjab lawmaker Ijaz Ahmed Samman, who was the party candidate for the by-poll in PP-51, said that the PPP had decided to withdraw its candidates from both the constituencies in favour of PML-N nominees over the latter’s support to PPP candidates in Sindh as per an understanding between the parties.

PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira speaks to the media. File/AFP

He said he was asked to do so by PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira after which he and the NA-75 candidate, Sumera Sahi, withdrew their candidature. He said the PPP would now support the PML-N on both these seats.

Meanwhile, at least 10 candidates withdrew their nomination papers from PP-51 and two from NA-75 on the last date of withdrawal of the papers. Election symbols to the final nominees have been allotted.

At least six out of 10 candidates who withdrew from PP-51 were from the PML-N, including the party’s district president Mustansar Gondal, Imtiaz Azhar Bagri, Baber Allauddin Farooqi and Khalid Manzoor Cheema and Wahaj Shaukat - the brother and son of former lawmaker Shaukat Cheema, respectively. Shabeer Akram Cheema and Mushtaq Ahmed Butt also withdrew their nomination papers.

For both the by-polls, the PML-N has chosen family members of the deceased lawmakers who held the seats previously. Nosheen Iftikhar — the daughter of former legislator Zahry Shah — and Talat Cheema — the widow of former lawmaker Shaukat Cheema -- have been given the party tickets for NA-75 and PP-51, respectively.

The PML-N chose these candidates in a bid to win sympathy votes, and with the PPP’s support their position had strengthened.

In the by-election for a provincial seat of Nowshera (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), the PPP and Jamiat Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have withdrawn their candidates in favour of the PML-N contestant.

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