ISLAMABAD: The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will challenge the Elections Bill 2017 in the Supreme Court on grounds that it allows deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif to take charge of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The opposition party termed the election bill “an illegal and above-the-Constitution act of the current regime” and also decided to initiate yet another ‘public mobilisation campaign’ against it.
“Under the mass mobilisation plan, which is similar to one the party took on after the Panamagate scandal unearthed, the PTI will hold 13 public rallies in different cities of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh during the next month,” The Express Tribune quoted a senior party leader, as saying.
According to the report, this was decided during a meeting of the senior party leadership held at Khan’s residence in Bani Gala.
Khan announced that he would to tour the country and inform the people about the conspiracies the Sharifs have been hatching to weaken democracy.
Khan said the PTI would oppose the Election Bill at every available forum and dubbed it as the Election Bill ‘save the corruption’ legislation.
He also reiterated his demand for early general elections and said that it is the only viable option to steer the country out of prevailing crises.
Earlier, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain ratified the Elections Bill 2017 which was passed by the National Assembly on Monday and paved the way for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to become Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president.
The Election Bill, 2017, commonly known as Electoral Reforms Bill which was already been approved by the Senate, was subsequently signed into law by President Mamnoon Hussain late Monday night.
A controversial clause in the bill allows disqualified politicians to hold a public office or to lead a political party, Geo News reported.
The opposition members in the National Assembly protested the passing of the bill and tore copies of it after it was presented by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
Members of the opposition also chanted slogans against Nawaz Sharif.
The Assembly also rejected the amendment to the bill presented by the Jamaat-e-Islami.
While addressing the National Assembly, Awami Muslim League Chief Sheikh Rasheed had spoken against the bill.
“You are risking the country’s democracy over one person,” he said, adding “You have attacked the Supreme Court with a rocket launcher.”
Nawaz Sharif does not even want to see his brother (Shehbaz Sharif) as a party leader, he remarked.
“You can start digging the grave of democracy with your majority,” he said while referring to the PML-N parliamentarians.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the clause 203 of the bill is against the spirit of the country’s Constitution.
Sharif had relinquished the position of PML-N chief after his ouster from power under the July 28 verdict of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case.
The Representation of Peoples Act 1976 bars anyone who is ineligible to become a member of parliament from holding office in a political party.
Ever since the Supreme Court’s verdict, the PML-N has been run by its acting president Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar, a senator from Balochistan.