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Pak: PML-Q files petition in Lahore HC after poll body halts intra-party polls to elect new party chief

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Lahore | August 6, 2022 6:57:00 PM IST
The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has moved a petition before the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to halt intra-party polls to elect the new party chief and secretary general.

The petition was moved by senior leader and Senator of PML-Q Kamil Ali Agha through his counsel Safdar Shaheen, ARY News reported.

He said in his plea that party head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain wrote a letter to deputy speaker during election for CM Punjab which was based on illegal directives. "The working committee termed the directives from Chaudhry Shujaat as non-democratic act and decided to remove him from the slot," he said.

The plea stated that the ECP suspended the decision to hold intra-party polls citing no meeting of the central executive committee. "If their argument is accepted then how Shujaat could remain party head?" he asked.

The plea stated that the ECP's decision to bar intra-party election was illegal and therefore should be halted immediately.

This comes after the Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday retained Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief, after Shujaat Hussain filed an application with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to stop intra-party elections.

Shujaat Hussain's lawyer Umar Aslam in his argument before the ECP said Kamil Ali Agha, who is PML-Q Punjab secretary-general chaired the party's huddle illegally and announced intra-party elections, ARY News reported.

"As per rules, the provincial office-bearer of any political party does not enjoy such right over through party's chief and central secretary-general."

He stated that the intra-party elections are scheduled for August 10 without the permission of the party president and secretary general, ARY News reported.

On July 29, PML-Q announced to remove the party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and General Secretary Tariq Bashir Cheema from their posts and hold fresh elections within 10 days after the election of PTI-backed candidate Pervaiz Elahi as Punjab Chief Minister and the judicial verdict of the full court bench.

Senator Agha had said that the Central Working Committee (CWC) unanimously decided to remove Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain from the party's president position because his health condition has badly affected his decision-making.

"The CWC has also decided to remove Tariq Bashir Cheema for using the party for his vested interests and hatching conspiracies," he added.

The decisions came after the top court declared former Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari's ruling in the Punjab chief minister's election "illegal" and ruled that PTI candidate Pervez Elahi will be the new CM of the province.

According to the Express Tribune, the emergent meeting to discuss Shujaat's removal as party chief was chaired by Senator Agha. The meeting also formed a five-member election commission, headed by Jahangir A Joja for the intra-party elections.

Agha announced that immediate elections would be held in the party and a five-member election commission had been appointed. The top court, in its short order, declared all the appointments made by Hamza Shehbaz as "illegal" and told the members of his Cabinet to vacate their offices, Dawn reported.

Notably, Hamza Shehbaz, son of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, had defeated Pervez Elahi in the Punjab polls and ex-Deputy Speaker Mazari had dismissed PML-Q's 10 votes after party head Chaudhry Shujaat urged them to vote in favour of Hamza.

Earlier, the Pakistan Supreme Court had allowed Hamza to stay as a 'trustee' chief minister of Punjab till the court resumes the hearing. (ANI)

 
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