ISLAMABAD: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) announced on Tuesday that it would approach the court over the controversial Elections Bill 2017, which was passed in the National Assembly (NA) on Monday.
The recently-passed bill contains a clause which allows politicians, disqualified from holding public office, to lead political parties – an apparent attempt by the government to re-elect ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) president.
“We will approach the court over the elections bill tomorrow,” announced JI chief Sirajul Haq while talking to the media in Islamabad. “Law should rule the country, not one person or a family. A system like this just cannot work,” said the JI leader.
Speaking about the bill, he said that the entire opposition was against the bill; many members even tore the copy of the bill and protested in the NA. “All opposition members’ speeches pointed that the passed bill was not the one that the parliament had agreed on,” he said.
He also remarked that JI was working against corruption in the country. “We want to protect the country’s democracy, traditions and institutions. Corruption would no longer be accepted in Pakistan,” he added.
While referring to PML-N leaders, he said, “If you don’t agree with SC’s verdict, then you shouldn’t take the help of the legal fraternity.” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Sheikh Rasheed-led Awami Muslim League have also decided to challenge the bill.
Earlier, Pakistan Awami Tehreek had challenged the Elections Bill 2017 in the Lahore High Court, pleading to have the law declared null and void. In the petition, PAT argued that the bill was against the spirit of Constitution by enabling a disqualified person to become party leader.
The NA passed the Elections Bill 2017 on Monday, paving way for the Nawaz to regain PML-N chairmanship. The bill was also ratified by President Mamnoon Hussain. Enraged opposition members protested and tore copies of it after it was presented by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.