The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led coalition government has started intra-party consultations to field joint candidates in the by-elections on 10 constituencies of the National Assembly (NA).

The by-election in NA-157 Multan will be held on September 11 while NA-108 Faisalabad’s and NA-118 Nankana Sahib’s will be held on September 25. These three are the only constituencies of Punjab in the by-election.

Sources said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will field its candidates in one of these constituencies while the PML-N will contest the rest.

They said that Ali Musa Gilani, the son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, is likely to be the joint candidate of these two parties in Multan, adding that from Nankana Sahib, Dr Shazra Mansab of the PML-N is likely to be the joint candidate of the two parties. They said that the parties are currently deliberating on a candidate for the Faisalabad constituency.

The sources said that the ruling alliance will also field joint candidates in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh after consultations with the constituent parties.

They further said that the PML-N is also consulting on whether Vice President Maryam Nawaz should be entrusted with the supervision of the by-election campaign.

The sources also disclosed that PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has held consultations with PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others regarding the strategy for the by-polls.

All parties have agreed to call a meeting of the coalition leadership this month to formulate a final strategy for the by-elections, they added.

Last week, former prime minister Imran raised the stakes of the otherwise considered dull by-elections by deciding to contest all the nine seats that fell vacant after the NA speaker had accepted the resignations of his party’s lawmakers.

The PTI chief made his decision public after the Election Commission of Pakistan announced the by-polls in the constituencies on September 25.