The Election Commission (ECP) of Pakistan on Monday disqualified Umar Amin Gandapur, brother of federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur, from contesting local body elections over repeated violations of the election code of conduct despite warnings.
A three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja delivered the verdict, which barred Umar from running for the mayoral slot for Dera Ismail Khan in the upcoming second phase of local government polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Ali, who is the federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, was also barred from addressing any gathering or taking part in any political activity in the district. The ECP bench said Ali will only be allowed to attend domestic gatherings of a personal nature in Dera Ismail Khan.
The ECP had last week directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary and inspector general of police to ‘forcibly’ expel the minister from the district following his repeated violations of the code of conduct announced by the commission for the local government elections in the province.
The ECP, in a meeting on Jan 28, had taken notice of the violations and summoned the minister on February 1 to explain his position. It had noted that on December 5, the minister had violated the election code by participating in a campaign and announcing development schemes in the area.
Later, the ECP had slapped a fine of Rs50,000 on Ali. On Dec 15, the PTI lawmaker had again addressed a public rally in Dera Ismail Khan.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that ECP's decision would be challenged in the Supreme Court.
"It was evident that Maulana Fazlur Rehman faced defeat in DI Khan. In such a scenario, the PTI candidate was disqualified on the grounds that his brother was participating in the election campaign," he said, adding that such decisions were making the election commission "controversial".