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ECP decides not to de-seat 20 dissident PTI MNAs

Former NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had sent references against dissenting lawmakers

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday has decided not to de-seat 20 dissident lawmakers from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), dismissing references against them sent by the party.

The electoral body had reserved its verdict in the case earlier in the day.

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The matter first came in the public eye in March after a number of PTI lawmakers were found staying at the Sindh House in Islamabad before the no-trust vote against then-prime minister Imran Khan was held.

They had refuted accusations by the party that they had been offered money to vote in favor of the opposition in the no-trust move. But they said they would vote in accordance with their “conscience”.

Earlier today, the ECP reserved its verdict on a petition filed by PTI that sought ineligibility of 20 members of the National Assembly belonging to the party.

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A three-member bench led by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja reserved its verdict earlier in the day.

During the hearing, the ECP rejected the appeal to accept further records from PTI.

PTI’s lawyer Faisal Chaudhry asked the court to give a copy of the reserved decision, saying that he would appeal against it.

He said that the dissenting lawmakers had opposed the party’s request to provide more records.

Meanwhile, Noor Alam Khan’s lawyer Gohar Khan argued that Article 63(A)1 did not apply to Noor.

He said that the show-cause notice issued by the party’s secretary-general did not have legal status and therefore, Noor was still a member of the party.

He informed ECP that Noor had stated he had neither left PTI or its parliamentary party.

He went on to say that Noor attended the April 3 meeting according to the party’s orders to ensure attendance. After this event, PTI did not issue further directives barring Noor from attending its meetings.

Gohar contested that his client Noor had not joined another political party but the media had implied that he had violated the party policy. When questioned, if Noor voted on the day of voting on the no-confidence motion, Gohar responded that he did not.

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