ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) heavyweights former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former foreign minister Khawaja Asif and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi have been cleared for the upcoming general elections.
An election tribunal on Tuesday cleared Abbasi and seniorleader Sardar Mehtab Abbasi to contest from the constituency of NA-53 Islamabad.
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Justice Syed Shehbaz Rizvi's election tribunal cleared PML-N heavyweight Khawaja Asif for contesting the polls from Sialkot. Appeals had been lodged against his candidature and after hearing the arguments, the tribunal gave Asif the green signal. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Firdous Ashiq Awan will be contesting Asif for the Sialkot seat.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar's nomination papers gained clearance from NA-241, NA-245 and NA-247.
On Monday, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani of Islamabad's appellate tribunal adjourned the hearing pertaining to the RO’s rejection of Abbasi and Sardar Mehtab’s candidature in NA-53. During the hearing, Justice 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.
The judge 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 the hearing.
Speaking to the media, Abbasi had 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.”
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Earlier, the returning officer had rejected nominations of PTI Chief Imran Khan, Abbasi and Sardar Mehtab for not submitting sufficient documents showing their progress in their respective districts. All three had challenged their rejection at the election tribunal.
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