Ex-PM Ashraf thrown out of election race

Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: An election tribunal has rejected the appeal of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, barring him from contesting in the general elections, DawnNews reported.

In a big blow to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the tribunal enforced the rejection of Ashraf's nomination papers by Returning Officer (RO) Khalid Arshad.

The former prime minister was to run for National Assembly seat from NA-51 in Gujar Khan, from where he had won in previous two elections.

A relative of Raja Jawaid Ikhlas, the opponent in the former PM's constituency, had complained that Pervez Ashraf had been misusing his discretionary funds in his constituency which amounted to pre-poll rigging and showed his partisan approach and corrupt practices.

The tribunal, comprising Justice Rauf Ahmad Sheikh and Justice Mamoon Rashid of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench, heard the arguments from both the sides and reserved its judgment on Monday.

Raja Pervez Ashraf is the secretary general of the PPP. His lawyer, former law minister Farooq Naek, said that they will appeal against the decision of the tribunal.

Naek had appeared before the two-member tribunal as counsel for the petitioner, seeking an order to turn down the verdict of the RO.

Naek contended that the nomination papers of his client were wrongly rejected as he never misused discretionary powers to allocate development funds for his constituency.

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