ECP to rule today if Maryam can hold PML-N office or not – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday reserved its verdict on whether Maryam Nawaz is qualified to serve as vice president of the Muslim League of Pakistan-Nawaz or not and said she will announce the ruling on Tuesday (today).

It was for the second time that the ECP reserved its judgment in the case. He had reserved it for the first time on August 1 and had established August 27 as the date for his pronouncement. But in an unusual movement, the commission postponed the trial, asking the lawyer of both parties to help him determine whether the prohibition of a convict from occupying the position of president of the political party also applies to the vice president, in light of a sentence Recent Supreme Court.

When appearing before a bank of three members of the commission headed by the Chief of Election Commissioners retired Judge Sardar Mohammad Raza on Monday, Pakistan lawyer Tehreek-i-Insaf, Hassan Maan, argued that Section 203 of the Elections Law it should be read with articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Referring to the Jehangir Tareen case, he said that a PTI legislator in Punjab lost his position in the party on the basis of the same principle that prevented disqualified leaders from taking up any office position.

The PML-N lawyer, on the other hand, said that some political parties were headed by their presidents, while others by presidents or emirs. He said that people who had authority mattered, noting that the vice presidents had no power.

He said that the Supreme Court ruling also specifically mentioned party bosses and asked the ECP to dismiss the petition presented by PTI legislators.

On May 3, the president of PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif, approved the appointment of Maryam Nawaz as one of the vice presidents of the party, in addition to his son Hamza Shahbaz.

Later, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the PTI was considering questioning the decision of PML-N to appoint a convict for a position in the party.

On May 9, PTI legislators Barrister Malika Bukhari, Farrukh Habib, Kanwal Shauzab and Javeria Zafar filed a petition, saying Maryam's appointment was illegal. The petitioners also said that the PML-N leader had been declared disqualified for any political or public office.

In his trial on the reference of the Avenfield apartments, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to a rigorous 10-year prison, Maryam to seven years and retired captain Mohammad Safdar to one year.

The defendants were also disqualified to challenge the elections or hold a public office for 10 years from the date they are released after serving their sentence and will not be allowed to request or receive or grant or allow any financial facility in form of a loan for 10 years from the date of his sentence within the meaning of Section 15 of the National Responsibility Ordinance, 1999.

On September 19 of last year, the Islamabad High Court suspended the decision of the NAB court in the Avenfield reference.

The IHC division bank that ordered the suspension until the final trial was composed of Judge Athar Minallah and Judge Gul Hasan Aurangzeb.

Subsequently, the National Responsibility Office challenged the suspension, but the Supreme Court dismissed his statement.

Posted on Dawn, September 17, 2019



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