Lahore, January 30
Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan will contest all 33 National Assembly seats in the by-elections to be held on March 16, his party has announced, in a move to frustrate the ruling coalition and put more pressure on it to call snap polls.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday evening, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice-chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the decision was taken during the party’s core committee meeting held here.
“Imran Khan will be PTI’s sole candidate on all 33 parliamentary seats. The decision was taken in the party’s core committee meeting which was presided over by Khan at Zaman Park, Lahore, on Sunday,” Qureshi said on Sunday.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Friday that by-polls to 33 seats of the National Assembly would be held on March 16.
According to PTI, the party leaders who were de-seated from these constituencies will submit their nomination papers as covering candidates for Khan. The seats fell vacant after National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepted the resignations of PTI lawmakers.
Khan’s party had quit the National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan Parliament, en masse following his ouster from power in April last year in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence.
However, Speaker Ashraf did not accept the resignations and said he needed to individually verify if the lawmakers were resigning of their own accord.
Last month, the speaker accepted the resignations of 35 PTI lawmakers, after which the ECP de-notified them.