Pakistan

Sheikh Rasheed challenges Nawaz Sharif’s election as PML-N chief

Sheikh Rasheed

ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Wednesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court questioning a clause of Election Bill 2017 which allows a person ineligible to be member of parliament to hold political party’s office.

The AML chief pleaded with the court to strike down the 203 clause of the Electoral Reforms Bill  which paved way for ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to become president of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) despite being disqualified by the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, Sharif was re-elected as PML-N president unopposed.

Speaking to media, Sheikh Rasheed said the above-mentioned clause has been in violation of the constitution. A disqualified person couldn’t be allowed to hold a party office, he added.

He said the PML-N re-elected a person who was disqualified by five judges of the apex court.

Earlier, Advocate Zulifqar Ahmed Bhutta had filed the petition in the apex court, contending that any individual who was disqualified by the Supreme Court or any court for not being honest and truthful will be able to control legislation and voting in the National Assembly as members of parliament will not be able to vote on important matters of their own free will for they will be bound to the decision of the head of the party.

He, thus, prayed to the court to declare the law as unconstitutional.

A controversial clause of the electoral reforms law, allows an individual disqualified to be member of the parliament to hold office of a political party. Thus, the law has paved the way for Mian Nawaz Sharif to regain the reins of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

On Sept 22, the Senate had passed the Election Bill 2017 with a majority vote, doing away with a clause which barred a person from serving as an office-bearer of a political party if he is either not qualified to be, or disqualified from being elected as a member of a parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution.

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