Supreme Court’s Verdict
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) does not have the authority to determine a lawmaker’s pre-election disqualification, the Supreme Court ruled in a four-page judgement on Sunday.
“ECP has no jurisdiction […] to inquire into and decide upon the matter of pre-election disqualification and disqualification of a returned candidate,” the SC order said, invalidating the judgments of the ECP and high court in a case involving the disqualification of former PTI senator Faisal Vawda.
Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial
The decision was written by Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who heard the case with Justices Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Ayesha Malik, according to GeoNews.
The order stated that Faisal Vawda had told the bench on June 25, 2018, that he had received a citizenship renunciation certificate from the US government, and that he had fully confessed his error and apologised to the Supreme Court.
Read More | PTI’s Politics is Weakening Pakistan: Shehbaz
Read More | Bilawal Says No Urgency For Elections
Impact on Vawda’s Political Future
The short order stated that Mr. Vawda was ineligible to run for office in 2018, but it also stated that after submitting an unqualified apology, Article 63 (1) (C) was applied to him, allowing him to run for office for the upcoming assembly term.
The former PTI leader would therefore be regarded as ineligible till the end of the current parliament’s term. The short answer is that he is qualified to run in the upcoming national elections.
Mr. Vawda’s resignation to Senate leader
The top court instructed the concerned officials to deliver Mr. Vawda’s resignation to the Senate leader for further action.
The Supreme Court had lifted the lifelong ban that prevented the former PTI leader from running for office during the most recent hearing on Nov. 25 after he submitted an unequivocal apology.
Mr. Vawda was given a lifetime ban by the ECP on February 9 for failing to disclose his dual citizenship when filing his paperwork to run for a National Assembly seat in the 2018 elections. The ECP further instructed him to repay his salary and other benefits as a minister and National Assembly member within two months. Additionally, he had lost his senatorial status.