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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday issued notices to 69 members of the National Assembly who had abstained from voting for the election of prime minister.

Justice Shahid Waheed had earlier admitted for hearing a civil miscellaneous application filed along the main petition challenging the election of Imran Khan as PM for being invalid as 69 members belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamaat-i-Islami did not cast their votes.

Advocate A.K. Dogar has filed the application to make all those parliamentarians who had abstained from voting a necessary party in the main petition. The judge issued notices to the respondent parliamentarians and fixed next hearing for Nov 1 along with the main case.

Petition challenges Imran’s election as PM due to parliamentarians’ failure to cast vote

The respondent parliamentarians include Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Asif Ali Zardari, Hina Rabbani Khar and Nafeesa Shah.

On the main petition, the judge had already issued notices to the federal government, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the two political parties.

The petitioner contended that it was mandatory under Article 91 (4) of the Constitution that every member of the National Assembly must cast his/her vote to person(s) nominated for the election of prime minister.

He said two main political parties — PPP and Jaamat-i-Islami — did not participate in the election of prime minister as their members were present in the assembly but they abstained from voting. Therefore, he said, they failed to perform their duty of participating in the establishment of the federal government.

The petitioner asked the court to declare that every member of the assembly must exercise his constitutional duty to take part in the voting for leader of the house and chief executive of the country.

He further requested the court to declare that Imran Khan had been elected prime minister unconstitutionally due to absence of the votes of the total membership of the assembly.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018