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June 4, 2018

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Nomination papers to be received from today


ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Following the suspension of the Lahore High Court’s orders by the Supreme Court which nullified the nomination papers of candidates for the 2018 general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday issued a slightly revised schedule for the 2018 general elections under which the candidates can submit their nomination papers from June 4 to 8.

A two-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, on Sunday suspended the nullification of nomination papers of candidates by the Lahore High Court (LHC). The LHC Judge, Ayesha A. Malik, on Friday ruled that the nomination forms [of candidates] carried no necessary information and declarations such as details on educational background, criminal record or if they were dual nationals. The court also directed the ECP to again add the requirements of articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution to the nomination papers.

Prior to the LHC’s orders, the candidates were to submit their nomination papers between June 2 and 6. The returning officers were to publish the names of candidates on June 7 and start scrutiny of their credentials the same day. The scrutiny process was to conclude on June 14.

After the LHC orders, the ECP had restrained the returning officers from receiving nomination papers till the apex court judgement on its petition against the LHC orders. Now, the initial list of candidates will be displayed on June 8, while dates for other developments concerning the general elections remain unchanged. The returning officers will carry out scrutiny of nomination papers from June 8 to June 14, while appeals against decisions [by the returning officers] can befiled till June 19 as per the Election Commission schedule. The appeal tribunals will wind up hearing requests by June 26 and on June 27 the candidates’ list will be displayed.The candidates will then have time until June 28 to withdraw their papers after which a new list, with election symbols, will be issued on June 29.

A statement issued by the Election Commission said the schedule for the seats reserved for women and non-Muslims in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies will be followed accordingly and priority lists are to be shared with the returning officers concerned on June 8. The polling day i.e. July 25 remains changed.

The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, announced the verdict after former Speaker of National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq and ECP challenged the LHC ruling on the nomination forms. The petitioners' counsel stated that the LHC’s decision [on nomination forms] would delay the elections, adding they had taken the matter to the Supreme Court to ensure the general elections as per schedule. The CJP remarked that the elections would be conducted as per the schedule – on July 25. The chief justice further remarked that the apex court will hold the Election Commission responsible if the general elections process was delayed or postponed.

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