Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Friday announced to contest an election on all nine National Assembly seats that fell vacant after his party's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmakers resigned.
At least 123 lawmakers of PTI had tendered resignation en masse on April 11, two days after Khan was ousted through a no-confidence vote.
But the speaker accepted the resignation of only 11 of them on July 28, leading to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announcing that the by-election on nine would be held on September 25. Two lawmakers were indirectly elected and no election is required for their seats.
The PTI announced that Khan has decided to “personally contest elections from the nine constituencies”.
There is no legal bar on a person to contest elections on the number of seats. However, after the elections, the elected person can retain only one seat and the ECP is bound to hold elections on the other seats within 60 days.
Separately, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the party would hold a rally in the capital of Islamabad within the next 48 hours and it would give a deadline to the government to dissolve assemblies and hold fresh elections.
“We will give the deadline and if the government refuses to dissolve assemblies within that period, then we will announce a future course of action,” he said, adding that a maximum of one month would be given as a deadline.
The development showed the deepening of Pakistan’s political crisis that was set in motion in April when Khan’s government was toppled.
The current assembly would complete its allotted five-year tenure in August next year but Khan and his PTI are determined to force snap polls.
According to a media report on Thursday, Pakistan's election commission is preparing to hold general elections by October, one year ahead of schedule.
The ECP has completed the work of delimitation of constituencies and eliminated any objections regarding them, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted sources as saying.
(Inputs from PTI)