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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to 69 members of the National Assembly for abstaining from voting during the election for prime minister as it heard a petition challenging Imran Khan's election as PM.

Petitioner Sheikh Zahid Mahmood's counsel A.K. Dogar filed a case on Aug 30 pleading that it was mandatory under Article 91(4) of the Constitution for every MNA to cast his/her vote to person(s) nominated for the election of prime minister.

The petitioner maintained that two major political parties, the PPP and the Jamaat-i-Islami, did not cast their votes in the election for PM. He held that the chosen representatives of the people could not abstain from voting and urged the court to declare that the election of PM Khan had been unconstitutional. He also asked that it be made essential for every citizen of voting age in Pakistan to cast their vote in the general election.

The court accepted the petition on Sept 4 and set Nov 1 as the date of the first hearing of the case. The petitioner, however, asked the court on Thursday to expedite hearing of the case. The Election Commission of Pakistan, PM Khan, PPP, JI and the federal law ministry have been made party to the case.