MIRPUR (AJK)

By-election to LA-III Mirpur city seat of Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly will be held in all circumstances as per the schedule on March 15, 2015, declared AJK Chief Election Commissioner Justice Munir Ahmed Chaudhry categorically while dismissing an application, seeking postponement of the election for some time.

The petition was filed by a candidate Raja Khalil Yousaf belonging to the ruling PPP AJK.

According to details, a total of 28 candidates had filed their nomination papers with the District Returning Officer by last date of February 18 to contest the scheduled March 15 by-election to LA-III Mirpur city, which had fallen vacant following resignation by former AJK Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry from the seat because of his defection to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on February 5 last.

Of these 28 candidates, the nomination papers of three of the candidates were rejected on different grounds.

Only one candidate - Raja Khalil Yousaf, hailing from the ruling PPP, out of rest of 25 candidates belonging to different political parties as well as independents, declared eligible to contest the election, submitted an application to the Chief Election Commissioner seeking postponement of the election on the ground of alleged affecting of the voters list of the concerned constituency LA-3, due to shifting of thousands of voters to their new residential abode - New Mirpur City after having been affected due to recent raising of Mangla Dam.

The CEC Justice Munir Ahmed Chaudhry turned down the said stance of the applicant by ruling that the registered voters shifted to New Mirpur City would be eligible to cast their votes in the by-election entirely according to the existing voters list and prevailing demarcation of the electoral constituencies as they had exercised their right of franchise in June 26, 2011 general elections to AJK Legislative Assembly.

Other candidates who jumped in the scheduled by-election arena were also present on the occasion.

The CEC invited the view point of other candidates on the issue besides over various aspects related to holding of the elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner. The candidates reposed full confidence and satisfaction over the arrangements being made for the scheduled by-election.