Pakistan: PTI dissidents dismiss references seeking their disqualification

Current members have sent notices to the Election Commission to eliminate defectors from the National Assembly



AFP PHOTO/ PRESS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT (PID)
AFP PHOTO/ PRESS INFORMATION DEPARTMENT (PID)

By ANI

Published: Sat 7 May 2022, 7:52 AM

Last updated: Sat 7 May 2022, 1:05 PM

Dissidents who were lawmakers under former Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have said that the references seeking their disqualifications from the National Assembly made by the party to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) are flawed.

The dissident lawmakers argued that they had not resigned from the PTI, while also not joining any other political party, besides not even violating the party policy. They also alleged that the actions of the PTI tantamount to converting the party into an authoritarian group led by a dictatorial mindset by one individual.

Remarks of the dissident lawmakers came as PTI sent references against 46 PTI MNAs and MPAs (Members of Provincial Assemblies) to the ECP, seeking their disqualification for violating party discipline and defecting.

All the dissident members submitted their replies mostly based on common grounds, reported The News International.

Their statement read, “The declaration and the reference are baseless, unsubstantiated, and vague in the material. It has been actuated by bad faith in order to suppress a voice of dissent within the party lines. Such actions are tantamount to converting the party into an authoritarian group commanded in a dictatorial mindset by one individual.”

“This further tends to infringe the right to express the opinion of members within the party discipline. In the instant case, not a speck of evidence has been brought forth to demonstrate that the declaration and the reference are sustainable on any of the touchstones mentioned in Article 63A (1)(a) of the Constitution,” it added, as per the media portal.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja highlighted that the arguments should be completed by Tuesday to ensure the availability of time for decision-making. Afterwards, the ECP directed the parties to present their arguments and adjourned the hearing of the case till May 10.

The PTI petition seeking their disqualification requested that the dissident members of the party should be disqualified from the Assembly for life and that if any member wants to leave the party they must resign as members of the NA first “instead of committing defection as provided in Article 63-A of the Constitution by changing his loyalty in favour of another political party actuated by hidden motive,” Express Tribune reported.

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The voting on the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government was held in the National Assembly on April 9, with 174 members recording their votes in favour of the motion.

Imran Khan has become the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to lose a no-trust vote in the National Assembly. Notably, no Prime Minister has ever completed a full five-year tenure in Pakistan.


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