Tuesday Sep 26, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued on Tuesday notices to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for failing to appoint a party president in the stipulated time after Nawaz Sharif was denotified as an MNA on July 28.
The ECP has directed PML-N Vice President Ahsan Iqbal to submit a reply by October 3, after the party failed to comply despite 45 days past the stipulated time.
The next hearing has been set on October 3.
The PML-N can be barred from partaking in any electoral activity if it fails to] appoint a party chief within the designated time.
The ECP on August 8 had directed PML-N to appoint a new president of the party.
ECP informed the party that according to the Political Parties Order 2002, a disqualified MNA cannot hold any position in the party.
It had said the party needs to appoint a new president and then inform the ECP of the same.
However, on Friday, the Senate passed, with amendments, the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 which allows a disqualified MNA to be the head of a political party. The bill will now go back to the National Assembly for a vote.
Nawaz Sharif stepped down as the party president after a Supreme Court verdict in the Panama papers verdict disqualified him from holding a public office.
PML-N chairman Raja Zafarul Haq in his reply in petitions against Nawaz in the ECP said that the commission does not have the authority to denotify any political party.
“The procedure to denotify is detailed in the Article 17 of the Constitution,” Haque told the four-member commission hearing petitions by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and others.
Nawaz’s lawyer also submitted his reply in the ECP.
In the petition, filed under section five of the Political Parties Order 2002 by Dr Yasmin Rashid (PTI) and Khurram Nawaz Gandapur(PAT), it was objected that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif cannot chair party meetings after his disqualification under Article 62 of the Constitution in the Panama Papers case.
It said that, Nawaz continued to chair party meetings in which important decisions were made.
In the petition it was also said that the PML-N is registered in the name of Nawaz Sharif, hence after his disqualification, the party principally should not function under his name.