ISLAMABAD/DG KHAN/ OKARA: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday published the final list of candidates and allotted them election symbols as per schedule.June 30 was the last day for publication of the final lists of candidates and allotment of election symbols. A day earlier the candidates had the opportunity to withdraw their nomination papers.
A total of 21,482 candidates had filed nomination papers this time and several have withdrawn. For 2013 general elections, over 28,000 nomination papers were filed.
A senior official of the Election Commission told that the lists of candidates were displayed outside the offices of respective returning officers (ROs) and all legal requirements were fulfilled. “All the respective returning officers have furnished the lists and following a due procedure they have been displayed,” said the official.
Meanwhile, one constituency was removed from Attock district’s three seats and added to the federal capital, increasing the National Assembly seats from two to three after the delimitation of constituencies. The Election Commission has given green light to a total of 76 candidates to contest for the three seats of National Assembly from Islamabad in the upcoming general elections as per the list displayed here on Saturday. According to the final list of candidates, out of these three constituencies, the highest number of 36 contestants are vying from NA-53. However, it is quite obvious the real contest will mainly be between the PTI Chairman Imran Khan and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
A disgruntled PML-N activist Abdul Hafeez Tipu is also vying for representation in the National Assembly as an independent candidate. As many as 28 candidates will contest from NA-54 and they include PTI’s senior leader former Asad Umar, ex-MNA of PML-N Anjum Aqeel and PPP’s Raja Imran Ashraf — younger brother of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. From this constituency, the actual contest is most likely between Asdar Umar and Anjum Aqeel.
PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Pakistan People’s Party leader Afzal Khokhar and PTI’s Raja Khurram Nawaz are among the key candidates for the electoral bout from NA-52. In all, 12 candidates are contesting from this constituency.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission approved the transfers and postings of as many as 260 officers, including 147 assistant commissioners and 60 additional deputy commissioners in Punjab and other officials. Likewise, a total of 207 officers were also shaken up in Sindh including 184 DPOs, SDPOs, DSPs and ASPs and 22 SSPs and SPs.
The PML-N suffered a massive political blow as several of its ticket holders quit the party and opted to get the symbol of jeep as independent candidates on the last day. The development could give the PTI an edge on majority of the seats in the district.
In DG Khan, four PML-N candidates contesting elections on seven seats left the party and opted to contest as independent candidates. Now, the PML-N has candidates for seven seats out of 16 seats in the district, while the PTI has fielded candidates on all seats.
The PML-N has awarded tickets to Shamoona Ambreen Qaisrani for NA-189 and PP-285 against candidates Khawaja Sheeraz Mehmood and Khawaja Muhammad Dawood Sulemani for NA-189 and PP-285 respectively. Shamoona Ambreen is the wife of tribal chief Mir Badshah Qaisrani, who was disqualified in a fake degree case. It is very hard for Shamoona to move from door-to-door for the campaign and organise corner meetings in the area, which spreads over 75km. Although Mir Badshah Qaisrani is also electioneering for her, the political observers are of the view that the campaign is not getting a good response owing to various factors.
On the other hand, the PML-N candidate from NA-189 Sardar Muhammad Amjad Farooq Khan Khosa withdrew his candidature from the constituency and returned the party ticket a couple of days ago that shocked the party and his supporters. Moreover, he switched himself to NA-190 and is contesting against his cousin and PTI candidate Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa.
Sardar Amjad Khosa has been contesting from NA-189 for the last 30 years and was elected as MNA thrice but his sudden decision not only disappointed the voters, but also weakened the party position. Now, Sardar Muhammad Amjad Khan Khosa is contesting on a symbol of bucket. Another candidate of PML-N Khawaja Nizamul Mehmood has left the party and returned the ticket for PP-286. Now, he is contesting on the symbol of jeep.
Similarly, the PML-N has fielded Sardar Mohsin Atta Khan Khosa from PP-287 and PP-288, but he is now no more a part of the PML-N as he has left the party and is contesting as an independent candidate against Sardar Javed Akhtar Lund and Sardar Muhammad Saifuddin Khan Khosa fielded by the PTI. The 58-year-old Sardar Mohsin Khosa was elected MPA in 1990, 1993 and 1997 while he had started his political career as a union council chairman in 1983 and was elected as a district council member in 1987.
In Rajanpur, former Punjab Assembly deputy speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gurchani, his father Sardar Pervaiz Ali Gurchani and a number of other candidates from Rajanpur district left the PML-N to contest elections as independent candidates. Earlier, the PML-N issued tickets to Sardar Sher Ali Gurchani for NA-193, Sardar Pervaiz Gurchani for PP-295, cousin Sardar Athar Gurchani for PP-294 and Dr Hafeezur Rehman Dareshak for NA-194. All of them refused the PML-N symbol during allotment of symbols. Later, Sardar Sher Ali, Sardar Pervaiz and cousin Sardar Athar were allotted the symbol of jeep.
In Okara, former provincial minister Raza Ali Gilani has returned the PML-N ticket and will contest the general elections from a provincial assembly constituency as an independent candidate.
Gilani has allied himself with the PTI candidate Syed Gulzar Sibtain in NA-143, as his provincial constituency falls under the National Assembly constituency.
Former MNA Rao Muhammad Ajmal Khan allotted the PML-N ticket in NA-144 constituency, has allied himself with Syeda Jugnu Mohsin who is contesting elections in PP-184 as an independent candidate.
The former provincial minister and now an independent candidate has been allotted the symbol of scooter whereas Syeda Jugnu Mohsin has got the symbol of pitcher in the same constituency.
Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi, the Returning Officers (ROs) on Saturday allotted election symbols to 253 candidates for seven National Assembly and 15 provincial assembly seats. The ROs allotted election symbols to 90 candidates for the National Assembly and 163 [candidates] for the provincial assembly seats.
A total of 284 candidates had filed their nomination papers to contest the general election for seven National Assembly and 15 provincial assembly seats in Rawalpindi district. The ROs issued election symbols to 253 candidates against 284 candidates while 31 withdrew their nomination papers in this regard.
In Rawalpindi district, a total of 1,389 candidates for the National Assembly and 1,039 candidates for the provincial assembly seats had obtained nominations. The candidates represented the PML-N, PPP, PTI, AML, MMA, JI and several other parties.
Several independent candidates also submitted their nomination papers to the ROs. Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who is contesting the election as an independent candidate from NA-59, PP-10, NA-63 and PP-12 was allotted ‘Jeep’ as an election symbol.
The ROs allotted ‘Tiger’ to PML-N Raja Qamar-ul-Islam for NA-59 and PP-10 and Mumtaz Khan for NA-63 Taxila and Faisal Qayyum Malik for PP-12 Rawalpindi. The ROs allotted election symbols to 10 candidates from NA-59, 13 from NA-57, 15 from NA-58, eight from NA-60, 19 from NA-61, 12 from NA-62 and allotted election symbols to 13 candidates from NA-63.
Similarly, the ROs allotted election symbols to 11 candidates from PP-6, 10 from PP-7, eight from PP-8, seven from PP-9, 16 from PP-10, 10 from PP-11, 15 from PP-12, 10 from PP-13, 16 from PP-14, nine from PP-15, eight from PP-16, 13 from PP-17, 10 from PP-18, 10 from PP-19 and allotted election symbols to 10 candidates from PP-20.
The returning officer allotted ‘pencil/inkpot pot’ as an election symbol to Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Shaikh Rashid Ahmed, ‘tiger’ as an election symbol to PML-N Muhammad Hanif Abbasi and ‘arrow’ to PPP Mukhtar Abbas from NA-60.
The returning officer allotted ‘bat’ to PTI candidate Amir Mehmood Kiyani from NA-61. The PML-N candidate Malik Ibrar and PPP candidate Haji Gulzar Awan are contesting election from NA-61.