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Kulsoom Nawaz to fight for his husband seat

12 August, 2017

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LAHORE: The Sharif family has finally decided to field Kulsoom Nawaz in bye-election for the NA-120 seat, which fell vacant after the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Panama Papers case, as her two separate nomination papers were filed before the returning officer (RO) on Friday.

The former prime minister had earlier announced his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif's name as the party candidate. His name was later withdrawn as party members deemed his presence in Punjab more important.

Kulsoom did not appear in person before the returning officer at the Election Commission of Pakistan's office here and Asif Kirmani and Captain (r) Safdar along with their lawyers filed her papers that also include details of assets owned by her and her family members along with other documents required as per rules. According to sources within the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the deposed premier, who is on way to Lahore in a rally via Grand Trunk Road, will formally announce the name of Kulsoom Nawaz as party's candidate for NA-120 by-election during his address to workers at Data Darbar today.

The nomination papers of Kulsoom Nawaz were reportedly submitted with four different proposers and seconders after through consultation with legal experts while keeping in view the issue of declaration of assets by her and other family members in the backdrop of ouster of her husband by the Supreme Court over mis-declaration of assets.

In the first nomination paper, Kulsoom Nawaz as candidate has been proposed by Nazir Sawati and seconded by Sohail Iqbal while the second nomination paper has been signed by Malik Furqan as proposer and Syed Muhammad Azmat as seconder.

PML-N officials told Daily reeprters that the party has secured the NA-120 seat by fielding Kulsoom Nawaz in the bye-election as she enjoys good reputation in the constituency and is likely to win the election with huge margin like in 2013 when Nawaz Sharif had defeated his rival candidates with a margin of 40,000 votes.

"Nawaz Sharif's lions have defeated you in the elections in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan besides local government and cantonment board elections in recent years," Kirmani said while speaking to media and party workers after filing the nomination papers. "NA-120 will prove to be Waterloo for Imran Khan and other opponents of Nawaz Sharif," he warned. On the other hand, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid, who had challenged Nawaz Sharif in last general elections but was defeated, also filed her nomination papers from her party's platform in the ECP office on Friday. Pakistan People's Party (PPP) candidate Faisal Mir (brother of anchorperson Hamid Mir) also submitted his nomination papers with the ECP.

PTI-backed Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Mehmood ur Rasheed, Ajasam Sharif, Ch Asghar Gujjar, Zubair Khan Niazi, Waleed Iqbal, Tariq Sana Bajwa, Andleeb Abbas, Ghulam Muhayyuddin Dewan, Jamsheed Cheema, Ejaz Chaudhry, MPAs including Dr Nosheen Hamid, Dr Murad Rass, Shanila Ruth, Sadia Sohail Rana and over two dozens workers and lawyers accompanied the PTI candidate.

Dr Yasmin Rashid while talking to media on the occasion confirmed that she had filed her nomination papers. She said their door-to-door campaign to seek support from the voters was continued.

When asked about Kulsoom's candidacy, she said that the difference between them is that she is a 'hardworking middle-class woman' who will represent the ordinary people of the country, whereas Kulsoom comes from what her daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has called the 'ruling family'.

It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Yasmin had secured around 52,000 votes in the last general elections against Nawaz Sharif.

PPP's candidate Faisal Mir, while talking to reporters after filing his nomination papers, expressed the hope that he will win the seat with reasonable margin against his opponents as, according to him, people of the constituency firmly believe in PPP as the real saviour of democracy and progressiveness in the country.

As per schedule announced by the ECP for bye-elections in NA-120, today (August 12) is last day for filing the nomination papers while the polling will be held on September 17.

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