LAHORE: Hafiz Nauman, the covering candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the NA-120 by-poll, has not taken back his nomination papers in favour of the party’s nominated candidate — Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
Nauman has confirmed that the PML-N leadership has instructed him to not take back the nomination papers and contest the election as an independent candidate.
“Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is the PML-N candidate in the election, I will be contesting as independent,” he said. “Begum Kulsoom will contest the election on the symbol of lion and I will contest it on the symbol of laptop.”
Meanwhile, Dr Tahir ul Qadri-led Pakistan Awami Tehreek has also taken back nomination papers of its candidate, Ishtiaq Chaudhry, after announcing its support to Dr Yasmin Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Dr Rashid has now become a joint candidate of PTI and PAT.
Azizur Rehman Chan and Andaleeb Abbas of Pakistan Peoples Party and PTI respectively have taken back their nomination papers as the covering candidates.ECP to test biometric machines
It was decided in a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan on Friday that the ECP would be using, as a test case, biometric machines in the NA-120 by-poll.
It was decided that biometric machines would be used at 100 polling booths at 39 polling stations. Moreover, it was decided that electronic voting machines would not be used in the by-poll.
The ECP stated that there are 321,786 registered voters in the constituency.
Earlier this week, Maryam Nawaz revealed that her mother Kulsoom was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes on the left side of her neck.
"Her treatment begins immediately," said Maryam on Twitter. She further said that doctors are hopeful that the disease is curable since it has been diagnosed at an early stage.
Kulsoom left for London unexpectedly on August 17 for a medical checkup — on the day when her nomination papers for NA-120 were accepted amid the political hype.
Her departure made headlines because she left ahead of her scheduled appearance before the Election Commission of Pakistan, where her nomination papers were to be scrutinised for the upcoming NA-120 by-poll.
PML-N has said that election campaign in NA-120 will go ahead regardless as local teams are working at all levels.
PML-N says that the local election campaigning team is involved in door to door campaigning and where needed Maryam will also be involved in the campaign.
The NA-120 seat fell vacant after former premier Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case on July 28 in relation to an Iqama (UAE work permit) and the allegation by the court that he concealed his salary from a Dubai-based company, which he claims he had never received and for which there is no evidence.