ECP seeks Nawaz Sharif’s response on petitions against his political activities

76

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday clipped together four identical petitions against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif for indulging in political activities after his disqualification by the Supreme Court.

It directed the Sharif’s counsel to submit his response to the petitions on next hearing and adjourned the matter till September 26.

Headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, a bench was hearing the identical petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Tehreek and two individuals against Sharif’s political activities after his disqualification in the Panamagate case.

Advocate Babar Awan, who represented the PTI petitioner, requested the commission to restrain Nawaz Sharif from chairing party meetings and holding any position in any political party.

He had earlier submitted that Sharif was ineligible for membership of any political party after his disqualification by the Supreme Court on July 28 under Article 62 of the Constitution in the Panamagate case. The Election Commission was further requested to bar the party from using the name of Nawaz Sharif.

The Supreme Court judgment dated July 28 disqualified Nawaz Sharif from the office of prime minister for not disclosing his un-drawn salary from a UAE firm. Following the judgment, ECP issued a notification de-notifying Sharif as a member of the assembly from Lahore’s NA-120.

According to ECP notice that cites Political Parties Order 2002, “a disqualified lawmaker cannot hold any office in a political party.”

The ECP states that Article 15 of the PML-N’s own party constitution stipulates that if the seat of party president is vacant, it is to be filled within a duration of one week.

The PML-N appointed Senator Yaqoob Khan Nassar as its interim president for the period of 45 days until it elects the new permanent president of the party and afterwards, wrote a letter to the ECP informing the electoral body about the appointment of the interim president. NNI