PTI leaders question ECP’s ‘withholding’ of Imran’s disqualification written verdict

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PTI leaders on Saturday cast aspersions on the delay in the release of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s written ruling that saw former prime minister Imran Khan disqualified in the Toshakhana reference.

“Why is the election commission withholding the written decision? What are they cooking up now,” party leader Asad Umar said on Twitter, a day after the election commission pronounced its verdict against the PTI chief, saying he made “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

Fellow senior member Imran Ismail accused the ECP of being a “subservient” organisation to opponents PDM and called the delay in not issuing the written ruling “shameful”.

“Chief election commissioner is waiting for a written decision from London or Bilawal House,” Ismail added.

The absence of the ECP’s written order, which is yet to be signed by all five members of the bench, as one of them was away due to illness, had led to ambiguity on the length of Imran’s disqualification.

The operative portions of the ruling mention Imran attracted disqualification under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution read with sections 137 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017.

Article 63 (1) (p) of the Constitution states that an individual is, “for the time being, disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) or of a provincial assembly under any law for the time being in force”.

Legal experts had widely interpreted this as Imran being disqualified till the end of the current National Assembly (NA) term, however, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar explained in a press conference that Imran’s disqualification under Article 63(1)(p) will be for five years.

 

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