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September 24, 2015
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LHC allows MPs to campaign for polls

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September 24, 2015

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday suspended the notification issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) barring members of the national and provincial assemblies from participating in election campaigns for by-elections in various constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies.
Justice Ayesha A Malik of the LHC heard arguments on a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), challenging the notification, following which she suspended the notification, allowing parliamentarians to participate in the campaigns. The judge adjourned further hearing for two weeks.
PTI MPA Shoaib Siddiqui had filed the petition contending that the impugned notification was in sheer violation of fundamental rights and norms of democracy.
The petitioner, through his counsels, Hamid Khan and Ahmed Awais, had submitted that PTI Chairman Imran Khan was a member of the National Assembly and by virtue of the ban, he could not visit the area of any political constituency where the by-elections were being held. He added that it was integral for an electoral campaign that the party leaders should visit constituencies, address electorates and meet party workers.
The petitioner went on to say that the ECP’s notification stifled the electioneering plans of the party by curbing its political activism, which was a core value of any parliamentary democracy.
He said that the impugned notification to the extent of this restriction was unconstitutional and offended fundamental rights, requesting the court to strike down the code announced by the ECP for being unconstitutional.

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