The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday stayed the notification of new MPAs on five seats of the Punjab Assembly after they fell vacant following the de-seating of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf s (PTI) dissident lawmakers.

The seats fell vacant after the ECP had de-notified 25 PTI dissident MPAs — 20 general candidates, three women, and two minority members — who had voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shahbaz against their party s line during the Punjab chief minister’s election last month.

In its ruling, the electoral body said that the notification would stay until by-elections are held."

Last month, ECP had made a landmark decision to de-seat the 25 PTI MPAs who went against their party and voted for Hamza Shehbaz as chief minister of Punjab.

The ECP had said that dissident lawmakers' decision represented the “worst form of betraying the electorate and party’s policy.” The de-notified lawmakers were elected on general and reserved seats.