Islamabad, May 5 : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday postponed bye-elections to August 18 for security reasons.
A press release issued by the ECP said that the holding of fresh/bye-elections was scheduled for June 18, 2008, but due to security reasons and preparation of the budget, it had been decided to postpone it.
"In view of the Report received from the Home Secretary, Government of NWFP regarding law and order situation prevailing in that province, the forthcoming budget sessions in the National/Provincial Assemblies and overall security environment, the Election Commission has deferred (the polls) for a period of two months," the Dawn quoted Kanwar Mohammad Dilshad, Secretary, Election Commission, as saying.
Dilshad further said that the revised schedule would be issued in due course. He clarified that the candidates who have filed nomination papers with the Returning Officers concerned need not file their nomination papers afresh.
The announcement came as Shahbaz Sharif, the president of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), filed his nomination papers to contest by-elections from two provincial constituencies in Lahore PP-151 and PP-154.
Talking to a private television channel after filing his nomination papers, Shahbaz Sharif said rejection of his nomination in the run-up to the February 18, 2008 general elections was an excess against him and hoped it would not be repeated again.
He said the deposed judges would be restored according to the agreed programme. He further said that the subordinate judiciary was in a crumbling state and the government will take steps to upgrade it.