PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced his party will quit all assemblies in its bid to pressurise the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government into early elections.
The party — which has called off the long march to Islamabad — is yet to make a final announcement, which is expected to be done next week.
Consequently, hundreds of seats will be left vacant once PTI and its allies’ resignations are approved, and elections are the only way to fill these seats back.
Following Khan’s announcement, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that elections will be held on a total of 563 seats across Pakistan which include 123 seats in the National Assembly, 297 seats in Punjab, 115 seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 26 seats each in Sindh and Balochistan.
With several seats vacant and polls to be held in its wake, the cost of elections is expected to remain astronomical.
Around Rs80 million to Rs100 million would be required to conduct elections on one National Assembly seat, while the cost of polls on one provincial assembly seat would be approximately Rs60 million to Rs70 million.
In case of an assembly’s dissolution, elections will only be held for the relevant assembly. If a seat remains vacant, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is bound to conduct polls within 60 days, according to Geo News.
If all the seats are vacated by PTI and its allies in the national and provincial assemblies, the cost of by-elections would go up to approximately Rs36 billion.