ECP says matter is sub-judice

Islamabad – The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday adjourned for an indefinite period hearing on applications challenging the election of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (retd) Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza heard the petitions filed by the Pakistani Awami Tehreek (PAT), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and other parties challenging Sharif’s new stint as party head following his disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28.

While no one appeared on behalf of the PTI before the commission, Advocate Niaz Inquilabi represented the PAT and himself on a petition he had filed.

The election commissioner noted that the Elections Act 2017 has already been challenged in the Supreme Court.  “What can we do in this matter?” he remarked.

The lawyer argued that a party could not remain registered in the name of a person who has been disqualified by a court.

At this, the CEC observed that the PML-N was registered with the name of the Pakistan Muslim League and that ‘Nawaz’ or ‘Quaid’ refers to the group.

Due to the matter being sub-judice in the apex court, the commission adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.

At the last hearing, the CEC had told the PAT’s lawyer that recent amendments to the Elections Act 2017 had provided legal cover to Sharif’s re-election as party head.

The government had bulldozed the amended Election Bill 2017 through the National Assembly on October 2, allowing politicians disqualified from holding public office to head a political party, paving the way for Sharif to head his party again.

Following his re-election, opposition parties had filed petitions in the ECP challenging Nawaz’s re-election.


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