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ECP dismisses Imran Khan’s petition against Ziaullah Afridi

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s request to disqualify PTI minister and MPA Ziaullah Afridi for joining PPP.
In the reference, filed on September 27 last year, the PTI chief had sought Afridi’s disqualification from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on the grounds that the former minister would be joining the PPP.
In August 2017, Afridi had levelled allegations of corruption against KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and KP finance minister Muzafar Said and announced that he would soon stage a sit-in outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) offices in the provincial capital to force the anti-corruption body into acting against the two.
Afridi had also criticised PTI’s chief Imran Khan and Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq for not taking action against the CM and finance minister over the illegal appointment of the Bank of Khyber’s managing director.
The former minister said that he had secured ‘solid’ evidence of the corrupt practices of the KP ruling parties and would soon make them public through media.
Afridi had also said that CM had established the KPEC just to victimise his political rivals.
A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by the chief election commissioner had earlier noted that Afridi had become a member of the KP Assembly on the PTI’s ticket. However, in today’s hearing, the reference was rejected in a split of 3/2 verdict.
Petition to declare PTI intra-party elections void discarded
Separately, the ECP also discarded a petition that asked for the intra-party elections held by PTI in June last year to be declared null.
On June 22, 2017 – 10 days after the PTI held the poll – Yusuf Ali, the former general secretary of the PTI’s Swabi chapter, had filed the petition before the ECP and asked the commission to declare the election null and void.
The petitioner had said that the PTI had not completed the necessary legal formalities when amending the constitution.
He had added that the party’s constitution can only be changed if there is a two-thirds majority from the Central Executive Council. Ali was referring to an amendment which gave registered voters just two choices: panel 1 or 2.
The PTI Election Commission had re-drafted the party’s constitution and developed a software for the intra-party poll whereby anything written instead of 1 or 2 would disqualify the vote.
As per the amended constitution, 2.7 million voters had to decide between PTI Chairman Imran Khan or party leader Naik Muhammad Khan. No party member was allowed to choose anybody besides the two panels, the Insaf panel and the Ehtesaab panel, each with 14 members.

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