Islamabad - Election Commission of Pakistan fixed on Tuesday December 17 as last date for receipt of applications for postal ballot papers for by-election in constituency PB-26 Quetta-III.

The seat has fallen vacant after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on November 15 ordered re-polling in Quetta’s PB-26 constituency after declaring the election of Balochistan MPA Ahmed Ali Kohzad null and void.

Hazara Democratic Party’s Kohzad had received 5,117 votes in the July 25 polls against Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal runner up Wali Muhammad’s 3,242 votes.

The lawyers for both candidates were present before the ECP’s two-member commission today, which was headed by Sindh member Abdul Ghaffar Soomro.

According to a report, Kohzad is an Afghan national, Soomro said, adding that the PB-26 poll could be declared null and void.

The ECP Punjab member Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi mentioned a writ petition that had been submitted to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) by Wali Muhammad against Kohzad’s election, alleging that he was an Afghan national.

Separately, Kohzad himself had also challenged the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) blocking of his computerised national identity card in the BHC. In an earlier hearing, the Quetta deputy commissioner submitted a report in court saying that the HDP leader was an Afghan national.

Wali Muhammad’s lawyer today said that the BHC had already issued notices to the parties involved in the case. He had requested that the runner-up be declared the winner.

The ECP, however, rejected his request. “How can we impose you on those who have not given you a vote?” asked the ECP Punjab member.

Qureshi added that there was no provision within the law for declaring a runner-up winner after the elected candidate was disqualified.

Subsequently, the ECP declared Kohzad’s election null and void and ordered re-polling in PB-26.

Earlier, Quetta deputy commissioner has confirmed before the Balochistan High Court that Ali Ahmed Kohzad, who has been elected member of provincial assembly on ticket of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) in the July 25 general election, is non-Pakistani and a resident of Afghanistan.

A representative of the Quetta deputy commissioner submitted a report before the BHC division bench, comprising Justice Abdullah Baloch and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, which was hearing a constitutional petition of Kohzad of HDP against blockage of his Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).