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ECP delays issuing notification for reserved seats in Punjab Assembly

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  • ECP says it will notify reserved seats after Punjab by-elections.
  • By-election will take place for 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly.
  • PTI wanted to get notification issued before the by-elections.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday ruled that the allocation of reserved seats — three women and two minorities — would be notified after the conclusion of the by-election for 20 vacant Punjab Assembly seats. 

The seats — for which the by-elections will take place — fell vacant after the ECP had de-notified 25 PTI dissident MPAs — 20 general candidates, three women, and two minority members — who had voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shahbaz against their party’s line during the Punjab chief minister’s election last month.

ECP’s five-member bench had reserved the verdict earlier today on the directions of the Lahore High Court (LHC) — which the PTI had moved last week for notifying new MPAs on reserved seats in the assembly.

The reserved seats are allocated to parties on the basis of the total number of general seats secured by each political party in the provincial assembly.

In a bid to secure the reserved seats, the PTI had asked the ECP to issue the notification based on the current numbers in the Punjab Assembly, but the election body ruled that it would notify the allocation of reserved seats once the by-election takes place on June 17 — and the new party position is formed.

The by-elections will take place on PP-7, PP-83, PP-90, PP-97, PP-125, PP-127, PP-140, PP-158, PP-167, PP-168, PP-170, PP-202, PP-217, PP-224, PP-228, PP-237, PP-272, PP-273, PP-282 Layyah, and PP-288.

Today’s hearing

During the hearing today, PTI’s counsel Faisal Chaudhry argued that if a lawmaker is disqualified under Article 63(A) of the Constitution, it is obligatory to notify another person on the reserved seat from the same party.

He maintained that the ECP has to issue a notification “immediately” in this regard under Article-224(6), adding that the PML-N in Punjab does not have the majority and, therefore, does not deserve to rule.

“In its plea, the PML-N misinterpreted the Constitution,” the PTI’s lawyer argued, adding that nominations are made on the reserved seats under Article 106.

Faisal Chaudhry argued that no change could be made in the number of reserved seats under Section 104 of the Election Act, 2017.

For his part, PML-N’s lawyer Khalid Ishaq contended that the Election Commission should notify new MPAs following the current proportion in the Punjab Assembly.

“Article 226 can be read in conjunction with Article 106,” he said, citing that no clause can be read separately.

The PML-N’s lawyer highlighted that the electoral college is not complete for reserved seats hence Article 226 is not applicable.

“The Election Commission would have to consider the principle of proportional representation while nominating MPAs,” he said.

While presenting his argument, Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf said that a decision, in this case, will have far-reaching consequences.

“Twenty of PTI’s seats have been reduced, after which they cannot have the same proportion. Nobody can tell which party will be successful in by-elections.”

The attorney-general said it would be “more appropriate” if the ECP waited until the by-elections.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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Iran has officially announced a period of national mourning following the tragic death of Raisi in a helicopter crash.

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The state-run news agency IRNA has reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has announced a period of five days for the entire nation to grieve the untimely death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter accident.

Khamenei paid a respectful homage by sharing a photograph of himself with Raisi on X, previously known as Twitter, and included a remark alluding to Imam Reza, the highly esteemed eighth imam of Shia Islam.

Mohammad Mokhber, the First Vice President, has been appointed to supervise the executive branch of the government. He will serve in this role temporarily for a period of 50 days, during which a new presidential election must take place. Mokhber has committed to perpetuating Raisi’s trajectory and guaranteeing the seamless execution of governmental responsibilities.

“As per Article 131 of the constitution, Mokhber has been appointed to lead the executive branch,” stated Khamenei. He further mentioned that Mokhber will collaborate with the heads of the legislative and judicial branches to make arrangements for the upcoming presidential elections, with a deadline of 50 days.”

According to IRNA, Ali Bagheri Kani has been designated as the interim foreign minister following this unfortunate event. The remains of Raisi are currently being brought to Tabriz, however, specific information regarding his funeral plans has not yet been provided.

An unusual conference, encompassing all three levels of the Iranian government, was convened on Monday in response to the tragedy. Mokhber served as the representative of the executive branch, while delegates from the legislative and judiciary branches were also present.

“During the meeting, Mokhber assured that we will adhere to President Raisi’s directives and carry out our assigned responsibilities without any disruptions.” As to the constitution of the Islamic Republic, the first vice president is authorised to temporarily take the position of president with the agreement of the Supreme Leader. Subsequently, a new president is to be elected within a period of 50 days.

Global leaders have offered condolences and conveyed their profound grief and sympathy with the people of Iran in response to this tragic occurrence. While the country grieves, plans are being made to commemorate Raisi’s accomplishments and facilitate a seamless transfer of power.

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Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, the former Prime Minister of AJK, has been apprehended by authorities.

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Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, the ex-prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has been apprehended by the Margalla Police in Islamabad.

Ilyas was apprehended by the authorities following the registration of a case against him at the Margalla Police Station, as stated by the police spokeswoman.

The police officials have accused Ilyas of committing six grave offences, which include assaulting the premises of a private enterprise.

The spokeswoman verified the arrest, stating that Ilyas was apprehended following a comprehensive investigation and subsequent legal actions.

This event follows the filing of a case against Ilyas, accusing him of being involved in the assault on a private company’s office.

The individual has been apprehended by law enforcement and will be subjected to investigation and subsequent legal procedures.

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