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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday rejected the Sunni Ittehad Council’s petition seeking the allocation of reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies.

The ECP announced the verdict with a 4-1 majority, saying the SIC -- the new home to PTI-backed independent candidates -- was not entitled to reserved seats.

ECP Punjab member Hassan Bharwana wrote a dissent note.

A five-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, heard the plea. The bench had reserved its verdict on February 28, which was due today.

In its decision, the electoral body said the SIC is not entitled to claim quota for reserved seats due to having “non-curable legal defects and violation of a mandatory provision of submission of party list for reserved seats which is the requirement of the law”.

“The seats in the National Assembly shall not remain vacant and will be allotted by proportional representation process of political parties based on seats won by political parties,” the order said.

Unconstitutional Verdict

Reacting to the ECP's decision, PTI leader Ali Zafar demanded the resignation of the Election Commission and sought action against the CEC under Article 6 of the Constitution.

He made these remarks while speaking during a Senate session.

“They cannot stay in this position for any longer,” Zafar said, adding that the ECP's decision was in clear violation of the Constitution.

Senator Ali Zafar said the PTI had prepared a resolution in this regard which would be tabled before the upper house soon.

He went on to say that the ECP's decision will impact the upcoming presidential and Senate elections, which cannot be held with an "incomplete house."

"We had also made this point clear before the ECP in our petition," he added.

Comments

200 characters
Lubna Mar 04, 2024 08:25pm
Shame on ECP
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