Top Pakistan court rejects ex-PM Sharif's appeal against removal

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Sharif's daughter Maryam, 43, has been the chief campaigner in the race, which has served as a test of her political prospects.

This is Nawaz Sharif territory, where much of the development work is attributed to the former premier.

The timing of Kulsoom's health scare (she is now being treated for lymphoma or throat cancer), could not have come at a worse time.

In an interview to private channel, the premier while responding to a query regarding arrest orders for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan by Election Commission of Pakistan, said that the orders would be executed.

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Unofficial results on Sunday showed the ousted premier's wife leading with nearly 5,000 votes against Yasmin, a gynecologist from the area.

He said Sharif tried his best to pressurise the Supreme Court with "gimmicks" like his GT Road Rally after his disqualification.

"It's very hard for them to take this from us", said Sohail Butt, 48, a PML-N voter in the Mozang area of the city.

Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz, who has spearheaded her mother's campaign, says a victory by her ailing mother would endorse the view that her father was ousted as prime minister in late July through a conspiracy by forces within Pakistan, including the military, that loathe strong civilian government. Buntings and posters of Sharif and his family have flooded the area.

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Former Prime Minister Sharif had requested a review of the ruling that disqualified him from holding office for concealing his assets.

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The constituency, home to nearly half a million of Lahore's 11 million residents, is deep in the heart of the old city, and is considered a Sharif stronghold. "This is a way for the people to show whether they still stand with the PML-N after the verdict".

According to the unverified and unofficial results being shared by DawnNews, a close contest is being observed between PTI's candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid and PML-N's Kulsoom Nawaz - with no one claiming a considerable lead as yet.

Among the candidates are Jama'at-i-Islami's (JI) Ziaur Rehman Ansari and the newly formed Milli Muslim League's independent candidate, Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoob. "Everyone in the USA said it would be her victory, and they all proved wrong".

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