ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-notified on Monday two lawmakers, one belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the other to the PML-N, and announced the schedule for by-elections in their constituencies.
They are PTI’s Ijaz A. Chaudhry who had been elected to the National Assembly from Mandi Bahauddin’s NA-108 constituency and PML-N’s Wajeehuz Zaman elected to the KP Assembly from PK-56 Mansehra.
An election tribunal had disqualified Mr Chaudhry on a petition filed by PML-N leader Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar who was runner-up in NA-108. Mr Tarar had sought his disqualification on multiple grounds, including a fake graduation degree and concealing facts while filing nomination papers.
Mr Chaudhry had been elected from the same constituency in the 2008 on a PML-N ticket, but contested as an independent candidate in 2013 after the party nominated Mr Tarar. He, however, re-joined the PML-N after getting elected.
Mr Tarar alleged that the respondent had never gone to the Philippines but had submitted a degree purportedly issued by an educational institution of that country. He also claimed that the respondent and his brothers Imtiaz Ahmed and Ishfaq Ahmed had got seven-marla plots allotted in a low-income housing scheme in 1989 but had concealed them in the statement of assets.
After the tribunal’s decision against him, Mr Chaudhry joined the PTI and challenged the decision in the Supreme Court which upheld the verdict and declared his election void on April 14.
Wajeehuz Zaman invited the wrath of top PML-N leaders when he openly violated party discipline during the Senate elections. He was expelled from the party when he refused to resign.
According to the termination letter, he had announced fielding and supporting a close relative of his as an independent candidate for the Senate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He had also proposed another non-PML-N candidate and seconded yet another one, allegedly for some personal gains.
The PML-N sent a disqualification reference to KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser which was forwarded to the ECP and an order was issued on April 9, declaring his seat vacant.
The decision was taken by the commission after confirming that Mr Zaman had resigned from the PML-N after issuance of a show-cause notice by the party.
Nomination papers for both the by-elections will be received on May 4 and 5 and scrutinised on May 6 and 7. May 12 is the last date for filing appeals against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers, which will be decided by May 15. May 18 will be the last date for withdrawal of candidature and the final list of candidates will be published the same day.
Polling will take place on June 8.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2015