Pakistan's Top Court Bars Ex-PM From Leading Party
22 February, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Kim Reid
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday announced its verdict on petitions challenging the Elections Act 2017, ruling that a person disqualified under Article 62 and 63 can not serve as the head of a political party.
Sharif, 67, had to step down as the chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after he was disqualified as the prime minister by the Supreme Court on July 28, 2017 in the Panama Papers scandal.
He said that since a party head is powerful and political parties control the government, it is mandatory for a party head to fulfil the requirements of Article 62 and 63. The decision was made by 3 member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar passed the decision against the Elections Act 2017 passed by the parliament of Pakistan.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Awami Muslim League, Pakistan Peoples Party and others petitioned the apex court against the Elections Act 2017.
In the verdict read out by the chief justice, it was also stated that a party's presidency is directly related to the parliament.
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The Chief Justice said that as a effect, Senate tickets issued by Sharif were also declared void, throwing the fate of March 3 Senate elections in doubt.
"How can a person who cannot even become a union councilor become a party chief?" he asked, alleging that the PML-N had tried to use parliament to pass a law (the Elections Act 2017) to suit their needs.
He said the PML-N candidates may contest Senate election as independent candidates as the schedule is already out.
Following the Supreme Court's verdict, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from serving as Pakistan's Prime Minister, as well as the leader of the National Assembly.
Former PM's daughter Maryam Nawaz also used the platform to express solidarity with her father following the verdict by simply posting Sharif's picture using with the caption "Main Bhee Nawaz Hoon", using an old hashtag (#NewProfilePic) which she had previously used to express solidarity with PMLN leaders.
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Ruling PML-N, analysts react to SC judgement that renders a disqualified person ineligible to hold party head's office.
Eminent law expert SM Zafar told Pakistan Today that all the party tickets awarded by Nawaz Sharif as party president would be nullified according to the judgment.
He claimed the ECP will also issue a new schedule for the Senate elections.
Nawaz Sharif has already served as Pakistan's prime minister twice, once from 1990 to 1993, and from 1997 to 1999.
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