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MQM-P,PTI challenges Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 in SHC

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) have gone to the Sindh High Court challenging the new Election Bill 2017 which allows an ineligible person to be head of a political party.

Both the political parties filed on Monday a petition in the high court, requesting it to declare the bill as illegal and unconstitutional.

They submitted in the petition that the Election Bill 2017 was in violation of the constitutional provisions and aimed to elect ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the PML-N’s head despite his lifelong disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers.

Earlier on Sept 22, the Senate had passed the Election Bill 2017 with a majority vote, doing away with a clause which barred a person from serving as an office-bearer of a political party if he is either not qualified to be, or disqualified from being elected as a member of a parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution.

Leader of the opposition in the Senate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had proposed an amendment to the Bill, retaining the above-mentioned clause, but it was rejected with a majority vote – 39 against 38.

The opposition parties, whose combined strength is more than that of treasury benches, had failed to pre-empt the bill without the amendment.

Taking great exception to their not participating in the voting process, the PTI had earlier issued show-cause notices to its senator Nauman Wazir and Kenneth Williams to explain as to why they stayed away from the voting.

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