LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to 69 members of the National Assembly (NA) for abstaining from voting during the prime minister’s elections, which were held on July 25.
The court was hearing a petition challenging the election of Imran Khan as prime minister.
A petition filed in the LHC had challenged the election of Prime Minister Imran Khan on the ground that every single member of the NA was required to cast his/her vote but 69 votes were not cast.
Advocate Sheikh Zaid Mahmood, a local lawyer, had moved the petition on August 31 through senior lawyer AK Dogar maintaining that it was mandatory under Clause 91(4) of the Constitution that every member of the NA must cast his vote to the person nominated for the election of prime minister.
The petitioner had said two parliamentary parties consisting of 69 votes preferred to sit in the NA but abstained from voting. Both Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) failed to participate in the process of the forming of the federal government. The chosen representatives of the people cannot abstain themselves from casting the votes, he said.
The petitioner said it was their constitutional duty to exercise their right to vote. The petitioner also made PPP and JI as respondents in the petition, saying that neither they said “yes” nor they said “no” which was constitutionally not allowed.
He asked the court to declare that every member of the National Assembly (NA) must fulfil the constitutional duty to elect the leader of the house and chief executive of the country. He further requested the LHC to declare that Imran Khan, the incumbent prime minister, was elected unconstitutionally due to the absence of the votes of the total membership of the NA.