ECP says army to be deployed for by-polls in Punjab

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ECP says army to be deployed for by-polls in Punjab
Chaudhary Mohammed Sarwar.

Islamabad - Two seats fell vacant after the election tribunals accepted petitions filed by PTI chief Imran Khan and senior leader.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Tue 29 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 29 Sep 2015, 10:04 AM

Army will be deployed in by-election to two National Assembly seats NA-122 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Multan), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Monday.
Both seats fell vacant after the election tribunals accepted petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and a senior leader of the party Jehangir Tareen challenging the result in 2013 election. Tareen is again contesting election on NA-154 while the PTI has awarded ticket to Aleem Khan against former speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
Ayaz had won against Imran Khan in NA-122 but the tribunal annulled the election citing gross irregularities committed by the election staff.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has awarded ticket to son of Siddiq Baloch who had won against Tareen in 2013 polls but was disqualified by the tribunal for possessing a fake educational degree.
Ayaz Sadiq has challenged the tribunal's verdict in the Supreme Court but opted to contest the election instead of seeking a stay order.
Meanwhile, the PTI has intensified its campaign for NA-122, Lahore, and NA-154, Lodhran, by-polls and local government elections. More than 20 PML-N, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) supporters joined the PTI on Sunday.
They made the announcement at a ceremony attended by PTI Punjab organiser Chaudhry Mohammed Sarwar and candidate for NA-122 Aleem Khan. Nazir Mughal, candidate for vice-chairman in UC 121, withdrew his candidacy in favour of PTI's Mehr Abdul Waheed.
Sarwar said that people from other parties joining the PTI indicated that support for the PTI was increasing.
Sarwar demanded that the army be deployed at polling stations to ensure fair elections. "Otherwise, it will be difficult for us to accept by-poll results."
Two former members of National Assembly (MNAs) and two former PML-N ticket-holders also announced that they would support PTI's Jehangir Tareen in the NA-154 elections.
They were former PML-N MNAs Akhtar Kanju and Zawar Warraich, former ticket-holder Ahmad Nawaz Joiya, former MPA Qasim Khan Malaizai and former secretary to parliament Tahir Malaizai.
The group had won six provincial assembly and two national assembly seats in the 2013 general elections in Lodhran. By-election in NA-154 will held on October 12.
Separately, Lahore organising committee's Farrukh Javed Moon said PTI chief Imran Khan would join the election campaign this week. "Khan is expected to arrive in Lahore on September 30," he said.

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