ECP to decide PTI dissident lawmakers’ fate tomorrow

ISLAMABAD  –  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will decide fate of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf’s (PTI’s) 20 dissident MNAs and 26 MPAs under Article 63-A on April 28 (tomorrow).

The former Speaker of the National Assembly had sent declarations of 20 PTI lawmakers who defected or violated the party rules under Article 63-A on April 14 to the Chief Election Commissioner. A statement released by the ECP said that the Punjab Assembly Speaker had also done the same and sent the reference to the ECP to disqualify the lawmakers from their seats.

It is stated that ECP will hold a hearing against the dissident PTI members on Wednesday. Notices have been served on all of them for upcoming hearing on May 6. The notices have also been sent to political partys concerned.

The ECP clarified that under Article 63-A, the Commission had the power to decide the declarations within 30 days. The ECP has asked the scrutiny committee in the foreign funding case against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) to submit progress report by April 28.

The committee had summoned the petitioner and PPPP, PPP and PML-N on April 1 and, after the hearing, sought some records from them and adjourned the hearing till May 9. However, the scrutiny committee had submitted report of the PTI funding case to the Election Commission in December, although it was fixed for a formal hearing before the Election Commission, which is near to completion.

In addition to that, the commission had sought a report from the Chairman Scrutiny Committee on April 28 regarding proceedings of the above cases.

The Commission gave the chance to PTI counsel in foreign funding case to complete its arguments and has fixed the case for April 27, 28 and 29. It is clarified by the ECP that all political parties’ foreign funding case hearings were delayed due to various reasons. On the other hand, the commission received a letter on April 18 from the Ministry of Planning, Development, Special Initiatives and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, under which the 7th Population and Housing Census will begin on August 1 and results will be provided to the Commission on December 31.

The ECP has started the delimitation process of constituencies on the basis of 2017 which would become irrelevant. The ECP will be bound by the Constitution to start new constituencies from January 1, 2023 which requires at least four months. Similarly, electoral rolls will need to be revised as statistical block codes are added and their boundaries are changed during the new census. Earlier, PTI constantly demanded fresh elections across the country.

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