Pakistan will hold polling on September 17 for the Lahore parliamentary seat in Punjab province vacated by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, election commission announced today. Sharif’s brother and Punjab province chief minister Shehbaz Sharif has been chosen by the PML-N party to contest from the NA-120 constituency in Lahore, which fell vacant after the prime minister was disqualified on November 28. The Supreme Court last week disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing him to resign. According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), candidates may submit their nominations between August 10 and 12. Their applications will be scrutinised between August 15- 17. The election in NA-120 will take place on September 17, the ECP said.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) initially announced that Dr Yasmeen Rashid will contest the election but there are also reports that PTI may field former governor of Punjab and its active member Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. However, Opposition parties have failed to agree on a joint candidate against PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the prime minister’s election, with six candidates filing their nomination papers for the polls scheduled to be held today.
If elected, Abbasi will run the government as the interim prime minister until Sharif’s brother Shehbaz is elected as the member of parliament to succeed him as his eventual successor.