Free Press Journal

Pakistan’s Election Commission allows former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to contest elections

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Islamabad, Pakistan’s Election Commission said on Thursday that former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi can participate in the July 25 general elections from another constituency, a day after an electoral tribunal had disqualified his candidature from his home seat. On Wednesday, an appellate election tribunal had disqualified Abbasi from the Murree constituency for allegedly hiding facts and not providing the accurate value of his assets in the nomination papers, declaring him ineligible to be elected as a member of the Parliament according to Article 62 of the Constitution.

“The appeal was only about his Murree constituency so it’s applicable only on that constituency. He can run from Islamabad,” ECP spokesperson Altaf Ahmed told Efe news. Ahmed said that the verdict would have no bearing on another seat, in Islamabad, where Abbasi has filed nominations for the elections. Abbasi has appealed against his disqualification in a higher court.

Abbasi’s predecessor, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified in July 2017 for not declaring a salary which he no longer received from a company run by his son, which the Supreme Court considered a violation of Article 62. The court also ruled on April 13 that disqualifications under Article 62 were permanent. Sharif, three of his children and his son-in-law are facing investigations related to ownership of a property in an exclusive zone in London and various companies.