ISLAMABAD - At Attorney General of Pakistan’s asking, Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk on Saturday directed him to move the Supreme Court against the Lahore High Court verdict on the new nomination forms.

The same day, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also announced that it will approach the apex court for guidance over LHC verdict which annulled the new nomination papers – terming them incomplete and in negation to Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

Speaking to the media in Lahore on Saturday, Outgoing National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also said he was going to move an appeal against the Lahore High Court decision on the nomination forms.

The LHC a day earlier had set aside the new nomination papers, approved by the Parliament through Elections Act 2017, and directed the ECP to start the process of issuing nomination forms afresh after improving it with additional necessary details about the candidates.

The court decision unwittingly strengthened the existing confusion and uncertainty about holding of the elections on time but the timely action by the caretaker government and the ECP has helped allay the apprehensions of delay in polls.

The Election Commission yesterday also announced to move to the Supreme Court against the nullifying of delimitation of constituencies by the Balochistan High Court and Islamabad High Court.

The decision was taken after a detailed meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan at Election Commission Secretariat in Islamabad.

The meeting also decided that the amidst the current scenario, returning officers (ROs) will not receive nomination papers, which were supposed to be received from Monday (June 4), and instructions will be conveyed to ROs in this regard after top court’s judgment.

Additional Secretary Akhtar Nazeer, announcing the commission’s decisions, vowed that the general elections would be held on July 25 as scheduled. To a question, he however said that the commission had the right to amend the schedule by a day or two.

He clarified that the delay in receipt of nomination papers would be absorbed by the two to three days room available in the current schedule and hoped that the SC would decide on the appeals soon.

Earlier, the ECP meeting was attended by all the members of the commission, the secretary and other relevant officials. They held a detailed discussion on all the issues relating to court rulings and their implications on the upcoming general election.

The meeting also analysed the issues pertaining to the deployment and postings of government officials on the election day.

The ECP also decided to take strict action against the appointments made recently and seek explanations from respective provincial and federal governments. The commission will issue final instructions in this respect after analysing all the appointments and postings.

Any caretaker government and authority without prior approval of the ECP will not make any posting and deployment orders of government employees in violation of Elections Act, it was decided.

The ECP will issue instructions regarding provincial and inter-provincial posting and transfers of police and civil officers within next few days.

PM-President meeting

Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk Saturday called on President Mamnoon Hussain and discussed with him matters pertaining to caretaker government and upcoming general elections.

During the meeting the president felicitated Nasirul Mulk on assuming responsibilities as caretaker prime minister. He expressed hope that the caretaker PM would play his role for ensuring timely as well as free and fair elections.

The caretaker prime minister said he would do his level best in performing his responsibilities.

Ayaz to challenge LHC verdict

 

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Talking to media persons after the PML-N parliamentary board meeting in Lahore on Saturday, NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said he will challenge LHC verdict on the nomination forms in the Supreme Court.

In his view, after the issuance of the election schedule and dissolution of the assemblies, the court was not authorised to strike down an amendment that has been carried out through the parliament with the consensus of all the parties. He said a big question has arisen as to the court power of rescinding the act which the parliament had passed unanimously.

Ayaz Sadiq said as a custodian of the assembly, he is under obligation to protect the legislation and get the single bench decision reversed. He said he would move the appeal as soon as possible and was going to consult his lawyers ‘today’ (Saturday).

The speaker said the Senate polls were also held on the new nomination forms. The decision would have a significance had it been made before the completion of assemblies’ terms.

Now, he said, general elections are open to delay since new forms will be drafted, sent to the president for approval and then printed.

Answering a question, he said the PML-N would soon decide award of tickets. He also chided the PTI over its flip-flop on the name of caretaker chief minister.

Ayaz said it was a serious matter, so PTI should have taken the matter seriously. He said it shows the PTI’s incapability to take a big decision when this party talks of ruling the country.

 

 

Govt, ECP to move apex court over nomination papers

 

Our Staff Reporter