PHC set to hear plea challenging KP Senate election postponement

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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) is set to conduct a hearing tomorrow (Monday) on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati’s plea challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) likely decision to postpone the Senate election in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Arshad Ali and Justice Waqar Ahmed will hear the plea that challenged the ECP’s likely decision to postpone the Senate election in the province until oaths are administered to opposition parties’ candidates-elect on reserved seats.

Earlier, the electoral watchdog had warned of delaying the Senate elections for 11 seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if the Speaker of the KP Assembly does not administer the oath to women and minority lawmakers-elect from the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on the reserved seats.

PTI leader Azam Swati in his plea said that the ECP decided without hearing the candidates contesting the Senate election.

Read more: Senate election: PPP likely to sweep Sindh amid PTI boycott

Swati and Murad Saeed had earlier approached the PHC after the ECP rejected their nomination papers. An appellate tribunal of the PHC allowed both PTI leaders to contest the Senate elections.

It is pertinent to mention that the ECP will hold the election on April 2 to fill the seats left vacant by half of the senators who retired on March 12. Out of the 52 senators who completed their six-year terms and retired, elections are being held for 48 seats.

As many as four seats were abolished following the merger of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) regions into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Consequently, the Senate s total number of seats will decrease from 100 to 96.

The PHC two-member bench is also set to hear the PML-N plea for the oath-taking of the KP Assembly candidates-elect members on the reserved seats.

Meanwhile, PTI announced a boycott of the Senate election in Sindh for 12 Senate seats. Amid the boycott, all Senators are likely to be elected unopposed with PPP expected to bag as many as 10 Senate seats from the province.

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