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ECP: Maryam can’t be appointed as PML-N’s acting president

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), deposing a petition filed by PTI lawmakers, has ruled that Maryam Nawaz could not be appointed as the acting president of PML-N.


However, the three-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan, maintaining that Maryam Nawaz should not accept any functional party position, held that she was eligible to hold the post of PML-N’s vice president (that is reckoned as a ceremonial post sans power).


While PTI’s counsel had argued yesterday (Monday, 16th of September, 2019) that Section 203 of the Elections Act should be read with Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution: “PTI lawmaker from Punjab lost his party position on the basis of the same principle which barred disqualified leaders from holding any party office,” the counsel cited. PTI lawmakers held that she was convicted by a court of law on 6th July 2018 in Avenfield reference case filed by NAB.


Maryam Nawaz had requested ECP to dismiss the plea, arguing that there was no restriction in the Constitution and Election Act on a convicted person holding a party’s vice presidency. Moreover, PML-N lawyer pointed out that some political parties were headed by their presidents while others were headed by chairmen or emirs. Maintaining that individuals with authority mattered, PML-N advocate pointed out that vice presidents did not have any power.


It may be recalled that an accountability court in its judgment on the Avenfield apartments reference, had incarcerated Maryam to seven years, her father former PM Nawaz Sharif to 10 years, and her husband, retired Captain (R) Mohammad Safdar to one year. The trio was also disqualified from contesting election or holding public office for far a decade. On 19th Sept 19, 2018, the Islamabad HC suspended the NAB court’s decision in the Avenfield reference. Later NAB challenged the suspension, but the SC dismissed its plea.

News Pakistan

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.