Sharif to contest by-elections from Lahore

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Islamabad, Apr 7: Pakistan Muslim League chief and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to contest the by-election from Lahore, local media reports said today.

He will contest on a seat vacated by a top PML (N) leader Javed Hashmi, who won from three constituencies in the last general election.Local daily The News said Mr Sharif had finally decided to contest the by-election expected in the middle of May.Five National Assembly seats have been vacated by the PML-N members out of which two are in Rawalpindi and one each in Lahore, Sheikhupura and Multan. The election for NA-119 was postponed after the death of a candidate.Mr Sharif contested the election for the last time in February 1997 from his Gawalmandi constituency in Lahore.

He has won from the constituency for five times consecutively.

There was a perception among the PML-N workers that if their leader opted for running in the bye-election, he would contest for another National Assembly seat in Rawalpindi vacated by Javed Hashmi.

A senior party leader requesting anonymity said quite a number of party workers from NA-123 in Lahore were also insisting on him to contest from their constituency, from where the PML-N has won since 1990.

The ex-premiere of Pakistan, who returned to Pakistan last November after seven years in exile, was barred from taking part in February election pending corruption cases against him.

UNI

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