Unofficial results are expected Friday from by-elections in Pakistan for national and provincial parliamentary assembly seats.

Pakistanis chose representatives Thursday for five seats in the national parliament and 23 seats in the provincial assemblies.

Most of the assembly seats are vacant because original winners in February elections gained more than one constituency and had to give up a seat.

The results will not affect the balance of power in the National Assembly.

Rival groups fired guns Thursday in a few constituencies in Punjab province, but election officials say the trouble was resolved quickly.

Voting was postponed on a seat in the eastern city of Lahore because of a legal dispute over whether former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is eligible to run for office.

A lower court in Lahore barred Mr. Sharif from the by-election because of criminal convictions related to the 1999 military coup that removed him from power. The government has appealed the lower court's ruling to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, says the ruling was politically motivated in favor of President Pervez Musharraf.

If Mr. Sharif is not able to secure a seat in parliament, he will not be able to run for prime minister.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.