Pakistan

Polling for NA-154 Lodhran by-election under way

Polling for the by-election in the National Assembly constituency NA-154 is under way after the seat fell vacant in the wake of the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen by the Supreme Court in December 2017.
The government has deployed 4,000 security personnel, including army officials, in the constituency in view of avoiding any unforeseen development and to ensure free and fair conduct.
The PTI has fielded Jahangir’s son Ali Tareen, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Iqbal Shah and Pakistan Peoples’ Party Mirza Muhammad Ali Baig. Seven other candidates are contesting as independents.
The polling process started at 8am and will last until 5pm.
In total, 338 polling stations have been set up in the constituency, where 431,002 voters will exercise their right to vote.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment in December 2017, had said that Jahanghir Tareen had pleaded guilty to insider trading and ruled that he cannot be termed honest and stands disqualified for life as per Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
It had also said the PTI leader used suspicious terms in his statements to the court, besides not declaring his offshore company.
ECP fines Tareen, Shah
The district monitoring officer imposed a fine of Rs40,000 and Rs30,000 on Ali Tareen and Iqbal Shah respectively for violating the by-election’s code of conduct by engaging in political campaigning after the deadline.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has also issued a notice to both candidates for their violations.