LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to 69 members of the National Assembly (MNAs) on a petition challenging the August 17 election for the prime minister on the ground that the polls stood null and void as these MNAs did not cast their votes for any candidate.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Imran Khan stood victorious in the polls defeating the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Shehbaz Sharif. However, members of two opposition parties, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), had abstained from voting.

As the LHC judge Shahid Waheed commenced proceedings, the counsel of the petitioner said it is mandatory under 91 (4) of the Constitution that every member of the National Assembly cast his/her vote for any of the candidates contesting for the slot of the leader of the house, the PM.

“[However] members of aforementioned parties [consisting of 69 MNAs] abstained from voting and failed to perform their function of participating in the establishment of the federal government.

PTI runners-up seek recount of votes

“The chosen representatives of the people cannot abstain themselves from casting their votes. It was their constitutional duty to exercise their right to vote,” he said.

Nominating the PPP and the JI as respondents in the petition, the petitioner asked the court to declare that every member of the National Assembly must exercise their constitutional duty to elect the leader of the house and chief executive of the state.

It is requested that the court declare that Imran Khan, the incumbent prime minister, was elected unconstitutionally due to absence of the votes of the total membership of the National Assembly, he demanded.