The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday dismissed a plea to remove PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz as a vice president of the party and ruled that she was eligible to hold the position.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan disposed of a petition filed by PTI lawmakers, including Farrukh Habib, Maleeka Bokhari, Kanwal Shauzab and Javeria Zafar, against her appointment.
The petition contended that Maryam’s appointment as PML-N vice president was in contravention of constitutional principles since she was convicted in a corruption case in July 2018. PTI lawyer Hassan Maan argued that the Supreme Court had made it clear that no convicted person could hold party office. He told the court that Maryam was convicted over a National Accountability Bureau reference and, therefore, could not hold any party office.
The PTI lawyer said the apex court had noted that Section 203 of the Elections Act — which deals with party offices and membership of political parties — should be read with Articles 62, 63, and 63-A of the Constitution, which detail the qualification of the public representatives.
The lawyer recalled that a PTI candidate in South Punjab, Rai Hasan Nawaz, was stripped of his party designation on the same clause, which bars disqualified leaders from holding a position in any political party. Jahangir Jadoon, the lawyer for the PML-N, had argued that Maryam was appointed and not elected to the party post.
He further pointed out that the petitioners were not affected by the PML-N’s internal decision.