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Poll commission slaps 2-year ban on Waheeda

March 08, 2012

Waheeda Shah at the Supreme Court building in Islamabad.—File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified on Wednesday Sindh politician Waheeda Shah from contesting election for two years for slapping EC staff at a polling station in her constituency during recently held by-elections.

The commission also nullified the result of the election for the PS-53 seat which Ms Shah had won.

The PPP candidate will not be able to contest any election till March 6, 2014, unless the Supreme Court already seized with the matter overturned the ECP’s decision taken by 3-2 majority.

Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Mirza and Roshan Ehsani, a member of the commission from Sindh, wrote notes of dissent.

ECP spokesman Mohammad Afzal Khan told reporters that a date for a fresh election for the Tando Muhammad Khan seat would be announced later.

Under Section 108 of the Peoples Representation Act, by-elections to fill casual vacancies in the national or provincial assembly are to be held within 60 days.

The commission asked the Sindh IG to take action under (Civil Servants) Efficiency and Discipline Rules 1973 against DSP Irfan Shah who was seen in the video footage standing behind Waheeda Shah when she was slapping the assistant presiding officer on Feb 25. The IG is required to inform the commission about the action taken against the DSP. The video of the incident repeatedly telecast by TV channels was seen across the country.

The commission acted immediately and withheld results till the completion of an inquiry. The Supreme Court also took notice of the incident and judges described it as s slap in the face of the state. It refused to accept an unconditional apology tendered by Waheeda Shah.

An independent candidate who had secured the second highest votes filed an application in which he requested the election commission to disqualify Waheeda Shah and declare him as successful candidate.

Meanwhile, a PML-N delegation called on the CEC and urged him to suspend the notification about election of seven senators on general seats from Balochistan.