The Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s nomination papers for the next National Assembly (NA) by-elections were deemed acceptable by the returning officer (RO) for NA-26 Rawalpindi.
On March 16, 33 NA constituencies are scheduled to have by-elections, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). On February 9, the names of the candidates will be released, and until February 13, ROs will review the nomination papers.
Appeals against a RO’s determination regarding the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers must be made by February 16 in order to be considered.
The deadline for raising objections to Rashid’s nomination papers is February 13. However, no opposition has yet been voiced.
In order to participate in the review of his nomination papers, RO Nausheen Israr had summoned the AML leader, who is now being held in Adiala Jail on judicial detention in connection with a murder conspiracy accusation case. She also sent a letter to the jail administration.
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Sheikh Rashid Shafique, Rashid’s nephew, appeared before the RO this morning as members of the AML and its allies Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf waited outside the official’s office.
The election official had accepted Rashid’s candidature papers, according to Shafique, who was speaking to the reporters outside the RO’s office.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, he claimed, the jail called to let them know Rashid would not be brought before the RO.
“The jail superintendent refused to comply with the magistrate’s directive,” he said.
Shafique continued by saying that the former minister was escorted to a meeting after leaving a court in Murree.
He claimed that despite being asked to switch allegiances, Rashid had declared his commitment to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
By-elections for 33 vacant NA seats
After the ECP approved the resignations of PTI members of the Lower House, it was announced on January 27 that by-elections for 33 vacant seats will take place on March 16. After PTI Chairman Imran Khan was dismissed in April of last year, the party’s MPs in the Lower House of Parliament quit in large numbers.
The final day for the appellate panel to rule on the appeals is February 20 according to the election calendar. The updated list of candidates will then be released on February 21.
The deadline for withdrawing from the race and releasing a new list of candidates is February 22. Election symbols will be distributed on February 23 and voting will take place on March 16.