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February 9, 2018

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ECP rejects Imran’s petition for disqualification of Ziaullah

ECP rejects Imran’s petition for disqualification of Ziaullah

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday dismissed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's reference, seeking disqualification of PTI’s former minister and MPA Ziaullah Afridi for allegedly joining the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

A five-member bench of the ECP headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sardar

Muhammad Raza Khan had earlier observed that Ziaullah Afridi had made his way to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on a PTI's ticket. However, the reference was rejected in a split of 3/2 verdict. Already, a similar split decision was announced regarding the reference against a PTI MNA Ayesha Gulalai.

In the reference, filed in September last year, Imran had sought Afridi's disqualification from the assembly on the grounds that the former minister was to join the PPP, which the legislator had denied out right. The ECP judgement comes a few days ahead of crucial Senate elections. It will be quite interesting to see whether or not, Afridi toes the party line and casts his vote for the PTI candidates.

A month before filing of the reference, Afridi had levelled allegations of corruption against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and KP finance minister Muzaffar Said and announced that he would soon stage a sit-in outside the KP Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) in Peshawar to force the anti-corruption body to take action against the two.

Afridi had not spared even party Chairman Imran as well as Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Sirajul Haq for not taking action against the chief minister and finance minister over the illegal appointment of the Bank of Khyber’s managing director.

He claims to have in possession what he calls solid evidence of the corrupt practices of the KP ruling parties and would soon make them public. He also had alleged that Pervaiz Khattak had established the KPEC just to victimise his political rivals.

The judgement in the PTI’s intra-party election petition, which was reserved several times, was also announced. The bench dismissed the petition that had sought declaring PTI intra-party election null and void.

Ten days after the PTI party election, Yusuf Ali, the former general secretary from Swabi, filed the petition in the Election Commission, claiming the electoral exercise was conducted in violation of the party constitution without fulfilling legal requirements.

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