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Chief Election Commissioner disqualifies Waheeda Shah from being elected member of Assembly for two years

Islamabad, November 04, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Mr. Justice (R) Fakhrudin G. Ebrahim, while announcing the reserved judgment yesterday at Karachi, disqualified Mst. Waheeda Shah from being elected as a member of an Assembly for two years in view of her conviction under Section 86(3)(b) of the Representation of People Act, 1976 (ROPA).

Mst. Waheeda Shah had been found guilty of slapping Presiding Officer Habiba Memon and others during the polling of bye-elections at polling station No.16 on February 25, 2012 and had therefore been found guilty of interfering in the polling process.

The ECP had earlier taken serious notice of the event and by a majority decision, thereafter directed the Returning Officer to take cognizance of the offence under Section 86(3)(b) of the ROPA, 1976. The Returning Officer, vide decision dated 5th March 2012, convicted Mst. Waheeda Shah of committing an offence under Section 86(3)(b) of ROPA and imposed a fine of Rs.1000/- on her.

In pursuance thereof, on 7th March 2012, the ECP declared the poll of PS-53 void under Section 103AA of the ROPA and disqualified Mst. Waheeda Shah from being elected as a member of an Assembly for two years under Section 100 of the ROPA by separate majority decisions.

Subsequently, the Sindh High Court maintained her conviction but quashed her disqualification on the ground that the power to disqualify under Section 100 of the ROPA vests exclusively with the Chief Election Commissioner and not with the ECP.

In pursuance to the above, a notice was issued on behalf of the CEC to Mst. Waheeda Shah for a hearing and the matter was finally argued at length on 24th October 2012 and the judgment was reserved.

The Hon’ble CEC has observed in the judgment that Mst. Waheeda Shah has undermined the entire election process and the faith of the country in our democracy. Furthermore, elections and their results will become farcical if candidates are given a free hand to coerce, threaten or abuse election officials and therefore, such conduct cannot be condoned.

For more information, contact:
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)
Election Commission of Pakistan Secretariat
Election House, Constitution Avenue G-5/2,
Islamabad
Tel: +9251 920 1975, +9251 920 6062
Fax: +9251 920 5402, +9251 920 5300

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