Govt may bring ord to bar Dar, Nisar to continue as returned candidates

The Nation  |  Mar 06, 2021

ISLAMABAD   -  The government is mulling over bringing in a new law, most probably through an ordinance, barring a person to continue to be a returned candidate in a House for an indefinite period if he fails to take oath within the prescribed time, according to the official sources.

The move, at one hand, will terminate the chances of two PML-N leaders Ishaq Dar and Ch. Nisar Ali Khan to become members of the Senate and Punjab Assembly respectively if they don’t take oath in the coming weeks and on the other it will pave the way for any government’s nominee to become a senator from Punjab, most probably Dr. Hafeez Shaikh, background discussions with the government officials suggest. It is to mention here that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) enjoys a majority in the Punjab Assembly. It wouldn't be a person-specific legislation, according to the officials. After the ordinance is promulgated, most likely in the coming weeks, the government would be able to get Dr. Hafeez Shaikh elected as a senator from Punjab on the seat currently being held by Ishaq Dar.

Ballistic missile strike kills one in northern Syria The government had suffered a major setback when its nominee Dr. Hafeez Shaikh lost to PDM’s joint candidate Yousuf Raza Gillani in a hotly-contested Senate election for a general seat from Islamabad on March 3. A non-elected, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was made the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenues on December 10, 2020, and he was required to become an elected parliamentarian within six months time under the Constitutional requirement. Though the government has time till June 10, 2021 for the continuation of his office but if Hafeez is not elected for any House of the parliament, he will have to quit or again serve as an advisor to the Prime Minister. Previously, he served as an advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue from April 2019 to December 2020.

Ishaq Dar and Ch. Nisar Ali Khan have so far not taken oath as Senator and member Punjab Assembly respectively. Dar has been in London since October 2017 and was declared absconder by an accountability court in a corruption reference. Currently, the constitution is silent on the time frame for a returned candidate to take an oath to become a member of that particular House. On 3 March 2018, former finance minister Ishaq Dar had won a Senate seat as a PML-N-backed independent candidate from Punjab.

UK variant behind up to 90% of cases in parts of Spain In June 2018, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had suspended the notification dated 9 March 2018, whereby Ishaq Dar was declared as returned candidate from the Senate against a seat reserved for technocrats from Punjab province.

 The Supreme Court on May 9 had ordered the ECP that notification of Senator-elect Ishaq Dar as member of the upper house be suspended for his failure to appear before the court despite repeated summons. Nawazish Ali Pirzada, who had received 12 votes as a Senate candidate on technocrat seat from Punjab against Dar’s 155 had challenged the Lahore High Court’s verdict that allowed Dar to contest the March 3, 2018 Senate polls. On February 17, an appellate election tribunal of the LHC had granted Dar permission to contest Senate election, setting aside an order of the returning officer who had rejected his nomination papers.


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