ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan resumed hearing on Wednesday of petitions filed by the Bahadurabad faction of Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) against its convener Dr Farooq Sattar.
The petitions included removal of Sattar as convener by two-third majority of the Raabita Committee and replacing him with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and the other challenges February 18 intra-party elections held under the leadership of Sattar – an election that he won by a heavy margin, becoming the party convener.
Sattar’s lawyer Babar Sattar appeared before the ECP, however, Barrister Farogh Naseem, who represents Bahadurabad, was absent. Barrister Saif Ali Khan appeared in his place.
“The conflict has adversely affected the party convenership,” Babar informed the commission. He added that the Senate chairman has to be appointment soon for which the party will suggest its senators who to vote.
Saif informed court that Naseem was set to take oath on March 12, the same day Senate will elect its chairman.
The ECP has adjourned hearing until March 13.
On March 1, Sattar had submitted a reply to the ECP where he challenged the commission’s jurisdiction in intra-party matters and urging it to dismiss applications filed against him.
In his reply, Sattar said the ECP does not have authority to intervene in intra-party rifts, adding that both the petitions are related to the party’s internal conflicts. The statement urged the polls supervisory body to resolve the matter according to the party’s constitution.
His letter quoted a previous judgment of the Supreme Court which held that in case of organisational structural disputes of a political party, the ECP has the authority to ask the parties to get the dispute in relation to party head resolved through civil proceedings before a court of competent jurisdiction.