ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday withheld the victory notifications of prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan from two of the five constituencies he contested in the July 25 general elections.
In other three constituencies, notifications of Imran’s victory have been issued but will be subject to the decision of the ECP in the pending case of violation of the election code of conduct.
While issuing the final list of successful candidates on Tuesday, the ECP withheld notifications of 34 National Assembly and provincial assemblies’ seats.
Notifications of these seats have been withheld by the ECP on account of various reasons largely because of pending court cases and violations of code of conduct.
The ECP issued the final list of successful candidates after returned candidates’ submitted details of expenses in their election campaign.
According to details, the ECP withheld notifications on 11 National Assembly seats, including NA-60 Rawalpindi and NA-103 Faisalabad where elections have been postponed.
It has issued notification of PTI chief Imran Khan as successful candidate from three National Assembly seats but withheld his notification on other two seats.
However, the ECP has conditionally allowed Imran Khan to take oath as Member of the National Assembly from one of the three constituencies subject to decision of pending litigation against him over alleged violation of code of conduct.
PTI chief had contested elections on five National Assembly seats in July 25 general elections and emerged victorious from all five seats including NA-35 Bannu, NA-53 Islamabad, NA-95 Mianwali, NA-131 Lahore and NA-243 Karachi.
Imran Khan’s notification from NA-53 Islamabad has been put on hold due to a pending case of alleged violation of secrecy of ballot as he stamped his ballot paper in front of TV cameras while casting his own vote.
His notification of a successful candidate in NA-131 Lahore has been withheld due to order of the Lahore High Court to recount the votes. The runners up on the seat, PML-N’s Khawja Saad Rafique had moved the LHC for vote recount.
The ECP has notified Imran Khan as successful candidate on NA-35 Bannu, NA-95 Mianwali and NA-243 Karachi.
However, all these three notifications are subject to decision of pending case against him in the ECP over alleged violation of code of conduct. He has been accused of breaching code of conduct case by using inappropriate language during his election campaign.
Reacting to the ECP announcement, the PTI requested Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of the delay of some of the election results by the Election Commission and subordinate courts.
PTI Secretary Information Fawad Choudhary in a statement expressed serious reservations over the delay of election results stating that smooth transition of power was a matter of serious concern. “Any sort of delay will directly affect the country and masses,” he added. Terming the delay harmful, the PTI leader stated that it will give rise to doubts on the whole electoral process. Therefore, he said, we request the CJP to personally take notice of the delay caused by the ECP and the courts.
Also, the ECP has conditionally notified the incumbent National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Saddiq and former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak as winners but they too are facing charges of violation of code of conduct.
The constituencies, where notification regarding successful candidates has not been issued include NA-25 Nowshera, NA-90 and NA-91 Sargodha, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-112 Toba Tek Singh, NA-129 Lahore, NA-140 Kasur, NA-215 Sanghar and NA 271 Kech.
Withheld notifications will be issued after decisions in cases by courts and the ECP.
The ECP has also stayed notification of returned candidates on 23 constituencies of the provincial assemblies on various reasons.
Notification in eight Punjab Assembly constituencies, seven Sindh Assembly, four Balochistan Assembly and four Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly constituencies has been withheld.
Notification regarding successful candidates nominated for reserved seats is expected to be issued on August 11 after all the independent candidates declared their party position whether they join any party or remain as independent.
Under Section 98 of the Elections Act 2017, the ECP is bound to issue final list of successful candidates within a stipulated time. “On receipt of the final consolidated result from the returning officer, the commission shall, within 14 days from the date of the polls, publish in the official gazette the name of the contesting candidate who has received the highest number of votes and stands elected,” Section 98 (1) reads.
Under Section 98 (2), the ECP is also to publish in the official gazette the name of each contesting candidate and the total number of votes received by him as in the final consolidated result.
The ECP under the law will be required to place the documents on its official website within two days from the date of publication of the name of returned candidate in the official gazette.
With all formalities expected to be completed by 11 August, the President is likely to summon the National Assembly session to meet within next two days most probably on Aug 13 when members-elect would take oath of their office during the maiden session followed by election to the offices of speaker and deputy speaker. If this goes as per the ECP schedule election for the coveted office of prime minister would most likely take place on Aug 15.
Answering a question, the official said the schedule for presidential elections would be announced by the ECP shortly after the first sessions of the national and provincial assemblies.