Pakistan Election Commission Suspends Elections for 37 Parliament Seats

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The National Assembly seats fell vacant after the resignation of lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party headed by ousted premier Imran Khan.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on January 27 that elections on 33 seats would be held on March 16 and followed it with another order on February 3 saying the polls on another 31 seats will be held on March 19.

However, the situation this month after the high courts of Peshawar, Sindh and Balochistan suspended by-elections in their respective provinces while the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the de-notification of three lawmakers.

In four separate notifications issued on Sunday, the ECP said that until further orders from the relevant courts, it was suspending the election schedule for one eat in Balochistan, three in Islamabad, nine in Sindh and 24 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The PTI lawmakers resigned in April last year after the government led by Khan was toppled through a no-trust vote.

Speaker of the National Assembly accepted the resignations of 34 members on January 17 and 35 others on January 20.

But once the ECP de-notified some of them and announced bye-elections, the PTI moved high courts and got a relief against the decision by the speaker to accept their resignations.

The suspension of bye-elections has further complicated the ongoing political tussle between PTI and the government.

Khan-led PTI has been pressing for early general elections in the country, but the government is adamant to hold the polls on time after August.

Source: The Indian Express