Imran Khan cleared to contest NA-95, NA-131 by election tribunal

Tribunal adjourns hearing of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's appeal against RO's decision


News Desk June 25, 2018
Imran Khan. PHOTO: PTI OFFICIAL

Election tribunals on Monday allowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan to contest elections from the constituency of NA-95 (Mianwali) and NA-131 (Lahore).

Imran cleared to contest Karachi's NA-243 seat

During the hearing of the petition filed in the appellate tribunal by Imran against the returning officer's decision rejecting his candidature in NA-95, the PTI chairman maintained that the RO rejected his nomination papers over his failure to submit an affidavit on time. The tribunal hearing NA-131 petition also dismissed RO's rejection.

Meanwhile, a tribunal in Rawalpindi adjourned the hearing pertaining to the RO's rejection of former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Sardar Mehtab’s candidature in NA-53.

During the hearing, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani remarked that a huge number of nomination papers were rejected due to incomplete bank accounts details and inquired whether the candidates were unable to comprehend the questions.

“Were the affidavits in Urdu?” he asked. A representative from the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) replied that the language used was English.

The judge also questioned the candidates over their performance in their constituencies. From the ECP, he inquired if the former prime minister should be given benefit of doubt. When the commission replied in the positive, the tribunal directed authorities to assist in the matter and the adjourned hearing till June 25.

Speaking to the media, Abbasi said he would accept the tribunal’s decision. “The ROs cannot challenge a candidate’s statements. I have always maintained that election results cannot be decided in courts.”

Referring to Supreme Court’s decision on affidavit to be submitted along with nomination papers, former premier lamented that the changes caused difficulties for the candidates. “Mostly PML-N leaders can be seen enduring trials in court,” he said.

On PML-N contesting election against disgruntled leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Abbasi said it was party’s decision to field a candidate from the constituency.

In Balochistan, the appellate tribunal will continue hearing appeals against decisions taken by ROs in the province.

A total of 255 appeals have been filed by candidates in the south-western province – out of which 148 candidates have been approved while nine decisions taken by ROs have been sustained. The decision for other appeals will be announced by June 27. The district returning officers will be finalising polling schemes today.

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