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Police have opened criminal cases against nearly 17,000 workers of the PML-N over breaking election rules, a statement said on Monday, as the country prepares to go to the polls next week.

The latest 16,868 cases, which the police statement said were registered in Punjab over the past four days.

Read Also: Supreme Court allowed PML-N candidate to run for the elections on July 25

The statement gave no details of which election rules were suspected of having been broken.

The party’s founder, ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, facing a conviction in absentia on corruption charges, was jailed last week when he returned to the country seeking to revitalize the PML-N ahead of the July 25 vote.

The campaign has been riven by that accusation Pakistan’s powerful establishment is working behind the scenes to skew the contest in favor of ex-cricket hero Imran Khan.

National polls indicate a close race between the PML-N and the PTI led by Khan, with the Pakistan Peoples Party in third place.

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