‘Grave urgency’ in hearing petition against Nawaz’s party presidency: Sheikh Rasheed


ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has requested the Supreme Court to conduct a hearing at the earliest against the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s reappointment as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party president.

Sheikh Rasheed filed a petition against Nawaz Sharif’s reelection as party president last month, saying that section 203 of the Election Act 2017 did not expressly allow a person disqualified by the Supreme Court from the government to become an office-bearer of a political party.

He said that there was a “grave urgency” in the matter and that the court should take up the petition at the earliest, failing to do which would lead to serious public losses.

“It is most respectfully prayed that the chamber appeal may be fixed on November 8, failing which immense loss, damage and adversity shall be caused both to the appellant and to the people at large,” the AML chief wrote in his application to the apex court.

In his petition filed last month, Rasheed had written that a disqualification made under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution could not be overridden by the sub-constitutional law of a party. If a person is ineligible to become a parliamentarian, he can certainly not be the head or an office-bearer of a political party, he wrote.

Soon after the Panamagate verdict, the Election Bill 2017 was approved by the Senate and had been subsequently signed into law by President Mamnoon Hussain. A controversial clause in the bill allows disqualified politicians to hold a public office or to lead a political party. Section 203 of the bill allows every citizen, excepting government servants, to form a political party or become its office-bearer.