Pakistani authorities bar Musharraf from July polls

Nomination papers of Imran Khan and Khaqan Abbasi also rejected for Islamabad seat

ISLAMABAD: The nomination papers of several top political leaders including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were rejected on Tuesday by returning officers (ROs), barring them from contesting elections from the Islamabad seat.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also rejected papers of politicians Ayesha Gulalai and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi for the same NA-53 Islamabad seat. The nominations were rejected over violation of Section N of the affidavit, which relates to the contribution of a candidate in his or her own constituency.

The ECP announced the decision as the electoral body concluded the week-long scrutiny of nomination papers at 4pm on June 19.

On Tuesday, the ECP also refused the nomination papers of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief Musharraf for Chitral seat and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Farooq Sattar for the Karachi seat.

Pervez Musharraf’s nomination papers, filed from Chitral for NA-1, were rejected by RO Mohammad Khan following the Supreme Court’s decision to withdraw its conditional directive allowing the former president to file nomination papers after he failed to appear for a court hearing.

Sattar was also barred after RO Ahsan Khan disallowed his nomination papers on the grounds that he is a declared absconder in two cases relating to the violation of loudspeaker laws under Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

However, some of the candidates who are also contesting from other constituencies vowed to challenge the decision in the election tribunal as they can file appeal until June 22.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who is contesting the general election from five constituencies including Mianwali, Bannu, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, received approval for NA-131 (Lahore) and NA-243 (Karachi).

Earlier today, the nomination papers of PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif and Sharif family’s Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz were accepted, paving the way for them to contest elections in their chosen constituencies.

The nomination papers of prominent Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders including Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, contesting from NA-246 (Karachi), and former president Asif Ali Zardari for NA-213 (Nawabshah) have also been approved.

A total of 21,482 nomination papers have been filed across the country for national and provincial assemblies, according to the electoral body. At least 6,063 candidates will contest for the 342 seats of the National Assembly, while 15,419 aspirants have filed nomination papers for the seats of the provincial assemblies.

The candidates can file appeals by June 22, with the decisions to be announced by June 27. Revised lists of valid candidates will be published on June 28 and the final list of contesting applicants for July elections is expected to be published on June 30.

General election will be held on the 25th of next month.

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