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Sharif's Wife Contests Lahore Seat In By-Election


Kulsoom (left) and Maryam Nawaz attend an election campaign meeting in Lahore in May 2013.

Voters in the Pakistani city of Lahore are heading to the polls for a closely watched by-election caused when former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stepped down in July.

The Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from holding office over a ruling that he was dishonest in a corruption inquiry.

His wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, is running for the seat in Lahore, Sharif's political stronghold, but is currently in London for cancer treatment.

Instead, her daughter Maryam Nawaz led the campaign for Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

More than 320,000 voters are taking part in the vote, which is being contested by all the major parties.

The Supreme Court barred Sharif from office after an inquiry into the 2016 Panama Papers linked his family to offshore companies. Sharif denies any wrongdoing.

In August, the PML-N elected a Sharif loyalist, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as prime minister.

Some party officials have suggested Sharif's wife could become prime minister once elected to parliament.

Kulsoom, who has been married to Sharif for more than 40 years, does not hold political office but is a high-profile figure in Pakistan.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and the BBC
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