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1,405 file nomination papers for NA, PA seats in Karachi – Pakistan

• Shehbaz Sharif also submits his candidature for NA-242
• ROs received 1,072 papers for Karachi’s 47 PA constituencies
• Last day of filing nominations today
• SHC sets up six election appellate tribunals across Sindh

KARACHI: As Sunday (today) is the last day of filing nomination papers for the Feb 8 general elections, 1,405 candidates submitted their candidatures on 22 National Assembly and 47 Sindh Assembly seats in Karachi till Saturday, data released by the office of the provincial election commissioner said.

The aspirants include leaders and workers of various political and religious parties as well as those willing to contest the forthcoming elections as independent candidates from the city’s seven districts — South, East, West, Central, Malir, Korangi and Keamari.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif also filed his nomination papers from a Karachi national assembly constituency (NA-242, Baldia Town) on Saturday. PML-N leader Khawaja Ghulam Shoaib submitted his papers to the returning officer (RO) concerned.

In a statement, the office of the provincial election commissioner stated that 333 nomination papers have so far been submitted on 22 general seats of the National Assembly in Karachi.

The number of nomination papers filed for 47 Sindh Assembly seats in the provincial metropolis is 1,072, it added.

The provincial election commissioner has so far received a total of 431 nomination papers during the last four days for seats reserved for women and minorities in the national and provincial assemblies.

A total of 109 candidates filed their nomination papers on seats reserved for women and minorities before Sindh Election Commissioner Sharifullah on Saturday.

The statement said that 22 forms were filed on Saturday for NA seats reserved for women; 64 submitted for the Sindh Assembly seats reserved for women, while 20 filed their candidatures for NA seats reserved for minorities.

Accepting the demand of various political parties, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had extended the three-day exercise of filing of nomination papers by two days and now the process to collect and file papers is going to be completed on Sunday evening.

While the process to obtain and file nomination papers had begun on Dec 20, the Sindh Election Commission has reportedly been facing certain issues as, unlike the past, it had not released any data until Saturday.

Apparently, it could not timely consolidate the figures coming from all districts of Sindh, including Karachi, on a daily basis.

When contacted, Nabeel Abro, an official responsible for coordinating with the media on behalf of the Sindh election commissioner, claimed that there was no intricacy regarding consolidation of statistics.

He also denied report that the election management system was not properly functioning.

Election appellate tribunals

Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court has nominated six judges to decide appeals against the decisions of ROs with regard to acceptance or rejection of nomination forms.

In response to an ECP letter, SHC Registrar Suhail Muhammad Laghari stated that Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi has nominated six judges for the election appellate tribunals.

Justice Arshad Hussain, Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio and Justice Adnan-ul-Karim Memon will hear and decide election appeals for the areas falling within Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions at SHC’s principal seat in Karachi.

Justice Irshad Ali Shah and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi will head the election appellate tribunals and take up appeals to be filed from Sukkur and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions at the SHC’s Sukkur bench.

Justice Muhammad Saleem Jessar will take up election appeals from areas falling within the jurisdiction of Larkana division at the SHC circuit court Larkana.

The last date to file appeals against the decisions of the ROs is Jan 3 and the election tribunals will have to deicide all such appeals by Jan 10.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2023

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