ECP seeks written replies from dissident PTI MNAs

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CEC says will wrap up case in 30 days

The Election Commission of Pakistan directed 20 dissident Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf members of the National Assembly on Thursday to submit their written replies on references seeking their disqualification under Article 63-A of the Constitution over defection from the party before adjourning the hearing till May 6.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said the Election Commission of Pakistan will wrap up the case on PTI’s dissident MNAs within 30 days.

The ECP also reserved its ruling on an objection raised by dissident PTI lawmaker Noor Alam’s counsel, who said that the commission could not hear the references at present as it was incomplete since two of its members had retired.

During the hearing, Alam’s counsel presented his arguments, contending that his client had not violated Article 63-A as he did not vote on the no-trust motion against Imran.

Article 63-A states: A parliamentarian can be disqualified on grounds of defection if he “votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the parliamentary party to which he belongs, in relation to election of the prime minister or chief minister; or a vote of confidence or a vote of no-confidence; or a money bill or a Constitution (amendment) bill”.

Alam’s counsel, hence, defended his client, saying he had not voted against party policy and as such, had not violated Article 63-A.

Faisal Chaudhry, the counsel for the PTI, also presented his arguments and underlined that the ECP was supposed to decide on the references within 30 days.

 

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