LODHRAN: The returning officer (RO) for NA-154 has issued summons to candidates of the February 12 by-election for scrutiny of their nomination papers.
According to details, a total of 14 candidates are contesting the by-polls, being held after the Supreme Court-ordered disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Jahangir Tareen.
Officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan said that Shafique Arain, Sajid Inam, Nafeez Ahmed and Mirza Ali Beg’s nomination papers have already been approved.
The RO said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate Ameer Baloch has been summoned on January 3 and Ali on Jan 4.
The RO added that the scrutiny will conclude on Jan 5 after which objections against nomination papers can be filed until Jan 9.
Ali, the son of Jahangir Tareen, submitted his nomination papers on Thursday.
Jahangir, formerly the PTI’s general secretary, lost his seat earlier this month when he was disqualified by the Supreme Court for not being ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’ as per Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution.
Ali, a foreign-educated businessman, entrepreneur and social worker based in Lahore and Lodhran, posted on Twitter on Thursday that becoming an MNA was never part of his plan but he made the decision following the “request” of the people of Lodhran.
Interestingly, Ali’s main contender will be Ameer, whose father, Siddique Baloch, is Jahangir Tareen’s main rival in the constituency.
In the May 2013 general elections, Siddique defeated Jahangir in NA-154 by a margin of 10,000 votes.
However, Siddique was disqualified in August 2015 for possessing a fake degree and Jahangir then bagged the seat after defeating Siddique, who was later allowed to contest the by-polls, with a margin of around 35,000 votes.