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Friday Feb 23 2018

Election Act 2017: IHC issues notice to ECP over changes in nomination form


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court issued on Friday a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding the recent changes made to the nomination forms of the Election Act 2017.

The high court was hearing the plea objecting to the removal of clauses in the nomination forms by Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed.

The advocate of the applicant said before the court that the forms ask for fewer details from the applicants and under the Article 19 of the Constitution every voter has the right to gain information.

The lawyer of the applicant said that the clauses asked for information should be incorporated into the forms again.

The court sent notice to Attorney General, Secretary Law Ministry and Parliamentary Affairs and summoned a response.

AML leader Sheikh Rasheed spoke to media outside the IHC, saying that 19 major clauses have been removed from the nomination forms.

Rasheed said the clauses pertaining to nationality and criminal record have been removed, adding that the forms do not inquire regarding assets as well.

The AML chief said that he doesn’t want the elections to halt.

“I guarantee even if the elections are held on time, these elected people will be disqualified by the Supreme Court eventually,” said Rasheed while referring to the recent nomination forms. 

In October 2017, the National Assembly had unanimously passed amendments to the Election Bill 2017, restoring a Khatm-e-Naboowat (finality of prophethood) declaration required to be signed by public office holders to its original form.

The controversy had arisen when the ruling party had passed amendments to the election law, with opposition parties claiming the bill moved by the government had also changed the contents of a form regarding belief in Khatm-e-Naboowat (finality of Prophethood), which is required to be signed by public office holders and election candidates. 


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