ECP to announce verdict in disqualification reference against Ayesha Gulalai on Oct 24

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved verdict in the reference against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member and MNA Ayesha Gulalai for defying party orders, seeking her disqualification from assembly seat. The ECP will announce the verdict on October 24.

A five-member bench under the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) heard the case against Gulalai.

During the hearing, Imran Khan’s counsel Sikander Mohmand stated that Gulalai had announced that she was leaving PTI but later retracted from her statement.

Mohmand went on to argue that she did not have to present a written resignation to leave the party, following which the bench inquired about the formal procedure to leave the party.

Mohmand maintained that as per the party constitution, there is no set of defined rules that govern resignation from party membership adding that the party chief reserves the right to expel a member.

“Gulalai leaving the party but not leaving assembly membership is not possible as per the party Constitution,” said the lawyer.

He further stated that after the declaration from Imran Khan, Gulalai’s assembly membership should be annulled.

Presenting his argument, Gulalai’s lawyer Barrister Masroor denied PTI accusations stating that there is a distinct difference between expressing the desire to leave the party and actually resigning.

Pointing to PTI, the lawyer stated that the party leaders had also announced to resign from parliament in 2014.

Gulalai never resigned from the party, adding that she will continue to serve the party in the National Assembly.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a notice sent to Gulalai had stated that she was in defiance of party terms according to Article 63 A (1) of the Constitution.

The notice, dated August 28, states that Gulalai had publically resigned from the party on August 1 and did not vote for the party’s designated candidate in the prime minister’s elections on August 1.

Gulalai had revealed her plans to leave PTI early August after accusing PTI chief of harassment and corruption.