Former PM Abbasi and Ayesha Gulalai make Election tribunal visits

RAWALPINDI: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appeared before an election tribunal on Monday for the hearing of an appeal against his nomination papers submitted for NA-57 Murree constituency.

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Abbasi is contesting on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s ticket from NA-53, as well as his home constituency of NA-57 Murree. His nomination from Murree has also been challenged in the Rawalpindi appellate tribunal.

Petitioner Masood Ahmed Abbas had challenged Abbasi’s candidature, accusing him of extorting money from the national exchequer. The petitioner had alleged that the candidate, during his tenure as the prime minister, had obtained Rs1 billion from the national kitty and given the amount to his son to perform Umrah.

Moreover, Abbas had stated that the former premier had supported a controversial interview that Nawaz Sharif had given, accusing him of purposefully damaging national security.

Among other accusations, the petitioner had alleged that Abbasi did not provide correct details of his assets. He further said that the former prime minister had not given any statement in support of Afia Siddiqui — a Pakistani scientist imprisoned in the US on terrorism charges.

The appellate tribunal had earlier suspended the returning officer for not correctly vetting Abbasi’s nomination papers.

The election tribunals have until June 27 to decide on the appeals after which the revised list of the candidates will be shared on June 28.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be June 29 whereas the date for allocation of electoral symbols and publication of the final list of contesting candidates will be June 30.

Polling for general election 2018 will be held on July 25.

Gulalai’s appeal adjourned until tomorrow

During hearing of appeals at the Islamabad tribunal today, Islamabad High Court Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the appeal of estranged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Ayesha Gulalai against the rejection of her nomination papers from NA-53, Islamabad.

After initial arguments, the judge adjourned the proceedings until tomorrow after issuing a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan and the returning officer.

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