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Ousted ANP activist vows to contest as independent candidate

By Bureau report
May 25, 2018

PESHAWAR: A former Awami National Party (ANP) activist has said withdrawing from the contest would be an insult to thousands of his supporters who had asked him to take part in the election without the party’s support.

Shah Nawaz Khanzada’s membership was cancelled for violating party constitution and campaigning for election as an independent candidate against the party nominee in Swabi district.

Before taking the decision to contest election as an independent contestant, he had written a letter to the ANP appellate board about cancellation of his candidature for the National Assembly constituency NA-18 Swabi.

He had pleaded in the letter that the parliamentary board accepted his application to be the party candidate for NA-13, now renamed NA-18, in November 2017 but was revoked after a couple of hours.

He said the ANP parliamentary board showed confidence in him again and issued a new notification of his candidature on December 4, 2017.

He maintained that he started his campaign and invested time and resources for over three months while preparing for the 2018 general elections. Shah Nawaz Khanzada said he was informed in March 2018 that fresh nomination papers have been called for his constituency.

“It was a shock for me as none of the senior party members contacted me to explain the reasons of cancellation of my candidature,” he said. He added that cancelling his candidature for the second time had caused him embarrassment.

“My candidature was a decision of the parliamentary board constituted under clause 17 of the party constitution. The clause 18/6 states that the time for appeal against nominations is within three days of the decision of parliamentary board. The clause 18/6 also states that appellate board shall be formed to decide appeals within seven days and make the final decision,” the letter states.

He questioned suspension of his nomination after a lapse of more than three months and termed it violation of the party constitution. He also questioned the party claim that the decision was taken after the delimitation of the constituencies. After the delimitation, nine union councils were removed and seven others were added to NA-18.

“If delimitation was a reason for this unconstitutional act of the party, then NA-12 in Swabi also had been altered after delimitation with the addition of nine union councils. But no such action was taken in NA-12,” he argued.

“So the delimitation is no excuse to humiliate a candidate the way I have been made a laughing stock in the district. I strongly protest on this act of the party,” Shah Nawaz Khanzada said in the letter.

He said ANP workers in tehsil Swabi passed a unanimous resolution in his favour as a nominee for contesting the coming general election, but this was ignored by the party’s parliamentary board.