Tuesday Jun 14 2022

PTI challenges ECP's verdict on reserved seats of PA

PTI General Secretary Asad Umar. — AFP/File
PTI General Secretary Asad Umar. — AFP/File 

  • Petition states ECP's verdict of June 2 is against the law.
  • States notification should be issued for reserved seats as per party's priority.
  • Asad Umar terms ECP's verdict "weird".

ISLAMABAD: PTI on Tuesday challenged the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) verdict on the reserved seats of the Punjab Assembly for women in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

On June 2, 2022, the ECP ruled that the allocation of reserved seats — three women and two minorities — would be notified after the conclusion of the by-election for 20 vacant Punjab Assembly seats.

PTI General Secretary Asad Umar filed the petition, stating that the ECP's verdict of June 2 is against the law.

"The ECP issued a verdict to de-notify 25 dissidents of PTI. Uzma Kardar, Sajid Yousuf and Aisha Nawaz were also de-notified under the verdict," the petition states.

The politician maintained that a notification is supposed to be issued for the reserved seats as per the party's priority list but the ECP stopped the notification till the by-election on 20 seats. He contended that ECP is responsible for issuing this notification.

Umar also mentioned the names of PTI members on the party's priority list for the reserved seats. Batool Zain, Saira Raza and Fauzia Abbas are in the priority list.

The plea seeks nullification of ECP's verdict issued on June 2.

'Weird verdict': Asad Umar

Speaking to the media on the occasion, Asad Umar termed the ECP's verdict "weird". He said that the laws are clear and such a petition shouldn't have been filed.

"The laws say that the next candidate is notified as soon as the seat falls vacant and there is no room for holding the notification back till the by-elections," he said, adding that PTI will have the two minorities seats even if it loses on the 20 seats. 

Umar demanded restoration of the reserved seats through notification at the earliest.

He further stated that Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz's government stands on fake elections. 

ECP delays issuing notification for reserved seats in Punjab Assembly

ECP's five-member bench on June 2, had reserved the verdict on the directions of the Lahore High Court (LHC) — which the PTI had moved for notifying new MPAs on reserved seats in the assembly.

The seats — for which the by-elections will take place — fell vacant after the ECP had de-notified 25 PTI dissident MPAs — 20 general candidates, three women, and two minority members — who had voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shahbaz against their party's line during the Punjab chief minister’s election last month.

The reserved seats are allocated to parties on the basis of the total number of general seats secured by each political party in the provincial assembly.

In a bid to secure the reserved seats, the PTI had asked the ECP to issue the notification based on the current numbers in the Punjab Assembly, but the election body ruled that it would notify the allocation of reserved seats once the by-election takes place on July 17 — and the new party position is formed.

The by-elections will take place on PP-7, PP-83, PP-90, PP-97, PP-125, PP-127, PP-140, PP-158, PP-167, PP-168, PP-170, PP-202, PP-217, PP-224, PP-228, PP-237, PP-272, PP-273, PP-282 Layyah, and PP-288.