General

By-election on Nehal Hashmi’s Senate seat under way in Punjab Assembly

The by-election for a Senate seat from Punjab is under way at the Punjab Assembly.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Dr Asad Ashraf, who is running as an independent candidate due to the Supreme Court’s recent decision nullifying all actions taken by disqualified PML-N president Nawaz Sharif, is contesting against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Dr Zarqa Taimur.
The Pakistan Peoples Party has not put up a candidate for the Senate. 
The election is being held on the seat vacated by Nehal Hashmi, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court last month for committing contempt of court. 
Talking to the media before entering the assembly premises, Dr Ashraf, a former MPA from Lahore, said the lion [PML-N’s electoral symbol] will win today, adding that the snatching of their symbol is unfair. 
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, who cast the first vote, told the media that the PML-N candidates were party members before and will remain so after the vote as well. 
“Those attempting to make the PML-N disappear [from the face of the Earth] will vanish themselves,” he added. 
The Punjab Assembly has around 315 members on the treasury benches and around 53 in opposition, thus ensuring a certain win for the PML-N backed independent candidate.