Thursday, February 25, 2021

Why has ECP penalized Deputy Speaker NA Qasim Suri?

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The Election Commission of Pakistan has penalized National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri for violating the code of conduct in the by-polls for National Assembly constituency-75, Sialkot. A statement issued by the ECP spokesperson here on Tuesday said the district monitoring officer (Sialkot) imposed a penalty of Rs30,000 on Mr Suri for violation of the code of conduct.

A notice dated Feb 11 sent to the deputy speaker says that he had been found visiting different parts of Daska city along with Ali Asjad Malhi, PTI candidate for the by-election in NA-75, canvassing for his election.

It says the Election Commission had on Dec 21, 2020 stated that the president, prime minister, chairman/deputy chairman of Senate, speaker/deputy speaker of an assembly, elected members of any assembly, federal and provincial cabinet members, governors, chief ministers, mayors/chairmen of local governments and/or their deputies and other public office-holders shall not participate in election campaign.

Mr Suri was directed by DMO Abdul Hameed to appear in person or through counsel to explain his violation of the code of conduct at Mr Hameed’s offi ce on Feb 12.

Meanwhile, DMO Abrar Ahmad has issued notices to MPAs Adil Bakhsh Chathha, Hina Parvaiz Butt amd Mirza Muhammad Javed, and MNAs Khurram Dastgir, Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema and Marriyum Aurangzeb for violating the election of code by holding a political rally in the constituency on Feb 15.

They have been asked to submit their replies within two days or their matter will be referred to the ECP for further action.

It is important to note that at least 20 lawmakers of the National Assembly and provincial assembly of Punjab have been served show-cause notices by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over violation of the ECP code of conduct.

The lawmakers issued show-cause notices include Member of National Assembly (MNA) Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Musadiq Malik, Khurrum Dastagir, Ali Zahid, Javed Latif and others.

The MPAs who have been served notices by ECP include PML-N’s Hina Pervez Butt, Rana Muhammad Afzal, Khawaja Muhammad Wasim, Bilal Akbar Khan, Ghulam Raza, Zeeshan Rafique, Zulfiqar Ali, Waqar Ahmed Cheema, Rana Abdul Sattar and Naveed Ashraf.

Read more: Senate vote is being sold for Rs500 million to Rs700 million in Balochistan, reveals PM Khan

The lawmakers have been accused of running an election campaign in the provincial assembly constituency ahead of the February 19 by-elections.

The by-elections on two Punjab seats, NA-75 (Sialkot) and PP-51 (Gujranwala), are scheduled to be held on February 19. The seat fell vacant after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah died of the coronavirus on August 2.

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