ECP to announce decision on dissident MPAs


Khayam Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is set to announce its verdict in a case pertaining to the 25 dissident members of the Punjab Assembly (MPAs) from PTI tomorrow (Friday).

The verdict is expected to be announced at 3pm on Friday.

The ECP, which was due to decide the fate of the 25 defecting PTI MPAs who had switched party loyalties ahead of the election of the provincial chief minister, had deferred announcement of the decision a day earlier and said it would first issue notices to the respondents instead.

The ECP’s verdict gained special significance after the Supreme Court’s Tuesday verdict in which — while interpreting Article 63-A of the Constitution — the SC had said the votes of a party’s turncoats would not be counted.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had sent a reference to the ECP against 25 PTI dissidents who had reportedly voted against the party policy in the election for the Punjab chief minister on April 16.

Earlier, lawyers of all the parties had presented arguments before the ECP. After listening to their arguments, the ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, had reserved the verdict.

The Commission, in its May 11 verdict, had rejected the disqualification reference against the MNAs of the PTI involved in floor-crossing during the no-confidence motion against PTI Chairman Imran Khan. The ECP said in its verdict that the reference against defecting MNAs of the PTI was “not in line with the Constitution”.