Sindh nods for by-polls at vacant assembly seats under SOPs

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The election commission has started preparations for by-election on two vacant seats of Sindh Assembly after given go-ahead from the provincial government, it was learnt on Monday. Two Sindh Assembly seats, PS-88 and PS-52 in Malir and Umerkot districts, had been lying vacant after the deaths of MPAs Murtaza Baloch and Ali Mardan Shah. Sindh Human Settlement Minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch lost his life to the novel coronavirus in June this year, while Syed Ali Mardan Shah, a former provincial minister was died of cardiac arrest in January. The Election Commission of Pakistan could not conduct elections due to the COVID-19 situation in the province. The commission sought the assent of the provincial government to hold the election in this situation. The government of Sindh after discussion on the matter in cabinet session decided to inform the ECP to hold elections in both the provincial constituencies under COVID-19 SOPs. After assent from the provincial government, the election commission has started preparation for by-polls at provincial constituencies of PS-88 and PS-52 and will release polling schedule for the election accordingly. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had issued a revised schedule for by-elections in two National Assembly constituencies from Punjab and three provincial assembly constituencies, of which two are in Sindh and one is in Punjab in July. By-polls in the NA-63 constituency of Jhelum will be held on August 31. The seat had fallen vacant due to the death of PML-N MNA Malik Iqbal Mehdi Khan. Polling for by-elections of NA-162 (Sahiwal) would be held on September 19 as Rai Hassan Nawaz, a PTI candidate who won the seat in the 2013 elections, was disqualified by the election tribunal for concealing details of his assets. By-elections for the Sindh Assembly constituency, PS-127 (Malir Karachi) will be held on September 8, for PP-232 (Vehari) on August 31 and in PS-14 (Jacobabad) on August 20.

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