Election candidature: Nawaz’s hurdles clear, Imran faces rejection

As the February 8 general elections inch closer, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif cleared another hurdle on Wednesday after objection to his candidature from NA-130 (Lahore) was dismissed while incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan’s appeals against the rejection of his nomination papers from two National Assembly seats was upheld.
The development comes on the last day to dispose of appeals filed against acceptance or rejection of nomination papers for the upcoming polls. According to the election schedule, the preliminary list of candidates will be displayed tomorrow and candidates can withdraw their nomination papers till Friday. Electoral symbols would be allotted on Saturday.

On Wednesday, an appellate tribunal, while announcing its verdict reserved a day earlier, rejected appeals against the acceptance of Nawaz’s nomination papers from NA-130, Lahore. On the other hand, former premier Imran’s appeals against the rejection of his nomination papers for two seats, NA-122 (Lahore) and NA-89 (Mianwali), were dismissed. Two separate appellate tribunals upheld the returning officers’ (RO) decision to reject Imran nomination papers.

According to the verdict issued by the appellate tribunal for NA-89 (Mianwali) —nomination papers submitted by Imran “met the fate of rejection through the impugned order passed by the returning officer during the process of scrutiny carried out in terms of Section 62 of the Elections Act 2017”.
Authored by Appellate Tribunal Judge Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, the order said the rejection of the nomination paper was “mainly structured upon the ground that since the appellant stands convicted in a case with sentence of three years, thus is disqualified under Article 63(10) of the Constitution for becoming a member of parliament”. “This tribunal is created under Section 63(1) of the Elections Act, 2017 having powers limited only to examine the legality of orders passed by the returning officers under Section 62.” “Section 63 of the Elections Act, 2017 places a clog upon this tribunal to decide only the legality of the finding given by the returning officer regarding the rejection or acceptance of nomination papers,” it added.