ECP notifies five PTI MPAs on reserved seats in PA

ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday notified five Punjab Assembly lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on reserved seats — a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a detailed verdict on PTI plea asking the electoral watchdog to notify new members.

The electoral watchdog had earlier sought declarations from the members of the former ruling party [PTI] after the party submitted its list of priority candidates for five reserved seats in the Punjab Assembly for women and minorities. These seats fell vacant following the de-seating of 25 PTI lawmakers over defection.

The ECP had earlier stayed the notification of new MPAs on five seats of the Punjab Assembly, arguing that the notification would be stayed until by-elections were held in the province on July 17. On it, PTI members filed different petitions challenging the ECP’s decision to defer issuing notifications.

According to the notification issued by the ECP, five members Batool Zain, Saira Raza and Fouzia Abbas for women’s seats Habakkuk Gul and Samuel Yaqub have been recommended for seats reserved for minorities.

It may be mentioned here that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to issue notification of the five reserved seats of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). LHC has issued a detailed 13-page judgment on five reserved seats in the Punjab Assembly.

Seats had fallen vacant following de-seating of 25 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers over defection

According to the decision, “If a seat becomes vacant due to disqualification of a member, it will be filled in accordance with Article 224 (6) of the Constitution”.

In the detailed verdict issued a day ago, the LHC also ruled that when a reserved seat becomes vacant after a lawmaker’s disqualification, it shall be filled by the next person in order of precedence from the list of candidates of the political party whose member vacates the seat.

The PTI legal team claims that Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz would lose majority in the Punjab Assembly once the ECP notified members on the reserved seats, as ordered by the court. Its lawyers insist that the number of opposition lawmakers would surpass that of the government, and the CM would need to get a vote of confidence from the house.

 

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