Pakistan's ruling PML-N party loses two Parliament seats in a day after Lahore HC ruling

Pakistan's ruling PML-N party loses two Parliament seats in a day after Lahore HC ruling

PTI | Lahore | Updated: 17-04-2024 14:03 IST | Created: 17-04-2024 13:38 IST
Pakistan's ruling PML-N party loses two Parliament seats in a day after Lahore HC ruling
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The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party lost two of its National Assembly seats as separate benches of the Lahore High Court set aside the victory notifications of its lawmakers from Gujranwala and Lodhran in Punjab province of Pakistan.

Lahore High Court Justice Shahid Karim on Tuesday passed an order against NA-81 (Gujranwala) Member of the National Assembly Azhar Qayum Nahra, allowing a petition by PTI-backed independent candidate Chaudhry Bilal Ijaz, Dawn News reported.

Ijaz's counsel on Tuesday contended that his client was initially declared elected by 7,791 votes, but the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a recount on a request of respondent Nahra declared him victorious with a margin of 3,100 votes.

At least 10,000 votes of the petitioner were declared cancelled in the recount, the counsel said.

The counsel argued that the commission violated the law by allowing a recount after the formation of the election tribunals to hear challenges to poll disputes and asked the court to strike down the ECP’s impugned recount order for being unlawful.

Justice Karim observed that in ordering the recount, the ECP had ignored the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The judge also asked the ECP lawyer if ignoring the Supreme Court’s decision constituted contempt of court.

The judge maintained that the commission could not entertain complaints against election disputes after tribunals had started working, and allowed the petition, setting aside the notification of the respondent’s victory.

Meanwhile, the Bahawalpur bench of the Lahore High Court unseated Abdul Rehman Kan­joo, the PML-N MNA from NA-154 Lodhran, and declared PTI-backed Rana Faraz Noon as the winner.

According to petitioner PTI candidate’s lawyer Makhdoom Kalimullah Hashmi, the LHC bench, deciding an intra-court appeal (ICA), declared null and void the notification issued by the ECP, announcing Kanjoo as victorious in the February 8 general elections.

Kanjoo, a former minister, has already taken oath as a lawmaker in the National Assembly.

In both cases, the petitioners — runners-up in the polls — are likely to be notified as the returned candidates following the success of their pleas.

In another development on Tuesday, PML-N National Assembly member from Nankana Sahib Rana Arshad's victory notification was suspended on a petition filed by jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) backed opponent.

Justice Shahid Karim issued the stay order on a petition filed by PTI-backed independent candidate Mohammad Atif who pleaded that he was initially declared the returned candidate with a margin of over 3,500 votes.

However, Atif said, the ECP held a recount on an application of the respondent and declared him victorious by 2,500 votes.

He asked the court to set aside the recounting order of the ECP and the impugned notification of the respondent’s victory for being unlawful.

The judge suspended the notification and sought a reply from the ECP and other respondents.

Meanwhile, incarcerated PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid has challenged former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s victory from Lahore’s NA-130 constituency before a Lahore High Court election tribunal.

Filed through her lawyers, Ahmed Awais and Rana Mudassir, the former Punjab health minister’s petition argued that the ECP issued Sharif’s victory notification in violation of the law.

Previously on February 13, the LHC dismissed a writ petition filed by Rashid against Sharif’s victory, directing her to approach the ECP.

On February 14, the ECP issued a notification of Sharif’s victory from NA-130.

He won the February 8 election with 179,310 votes while Rashid came second with 104,485 votes.

Now, the latter has filed an election petition before the tribunal requesting it to set aside the former prime minister's victory and to declare her as the winning candidate.

She alleged that the ECP manipulated the election results to ensure her defeat.

Separately on Tuesday, the ECP suspended the victory notification of Balochistan Assembly Speaker Abdul Khaliq Khan Achakzai from PB-51, Chaman.

The notification has been suspended until the outcome of re-polling at 12 polling stations, scheduled for April 21, along with by-polls in 23 national and provincial assembly constituencies and a re-election in PB-51 (Qila Abdullah).

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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