Shehbaz gets ECP notice for not holding intra-party polls

Published May 22, 2022
In this file photo, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly. — Photo courtesy: PMO Twitter/File
In this file photo, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly. — Photo courtesy: PMO Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday over his failure to conduct intra-party elections in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which he heads.

The last date for the PML-N to hold intra-party elections was March 22, however, the date was extended on PML-N’s request till May 14. Under the law, the party was supposed to submit a certificate of elections to the ECP by May 21.

The Election Commission had warned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is also the PML-N president, that the party would not be allotted election symbol if the intra-party polls were not held.

According to a press release issued by the ECP, the last date for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to conduct intra-party polls was June 13, 2021, but the party was given till June 13 this year on its request.

11 other parties served final show-cause notices

Interestingly, even after a show-cause notice was served on the PTI for failing to hold intra-party elections in July last year, the party claimed that it had not missed any legal deadline.

The party’s information secretary, Ahmad Jawad, had claimed at that time that the last intra-party elections were held in June 2017 and the five-year term of the elected office-bearers would expire almost after a year.

According to Section 208 of the Elections Act, all political parties were required to elect office-bearers at the federal, provincial and local levels, wherever applicable, periodically in accordance with the Constitution of the respective political party.

“Provided that a period, not exceeding five years, shall intervene between any two elections,” a proviso to section 208(1) of the act read.

Under the law, a political party was also required to publish the updated list of its central office-bearers and executive committee members, by whatever name called, on its website and send the list and any subsequent change in it to the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, the ECP has issued final show-cause notices to as many as 11 other political parties for their failure to conduct intra-party elections.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2022

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