Dual Citizenship Case: PTI Senator Faisal Wawda Disqualified

The Election Commission of Pakistan has disqualified Senator Faisal Wawda of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] in a dual citizenship case.

A three-member bench headed by the Chief Election Commissioner read out the reserved judgment of the Faisal Wawda disqualification case on December 23, 2021 on Wednesday and said in the order that the notification of Faisal Wawda for the Senate seat is withdrawn.

The commission said in a statement that Faisal Wawda had submitted a false affidavit in violation of Article 62F of the Constitution.

In the dual citizenship case, PPP petitioner Qadir Khan Mandokhel had alleged that Faisal Wawda had submitted a false affidavit while submitting nomination papers for the 2018 general elections.

The case was pending before the Election Commission after Faisal Wawda resigned from the National Assembly in March last year and was later elected a senator.

The commission on Wednesday ruled that Faisal Wawda had made himself suspicious of his conduct. According to the decision, Faisal Wawda voted in the Senate election as MNA, after which he presented himself as a Senate candidate.

According to the commission, it was doubtful that Faisal Wawda would resign as a Member Assembly and contest the Senate elections.

The decision comes at a time when the issue of foreign funding case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] is also pending in the Election Commission.

Indications to challenge the commission's decision

Faisal Wawda's lawyer Akhtar Abbas has hinted at challenging the ECP's decision in the Supreme Court and said that the ECP has given its verdict beyond its authority.

Talking to reporters outside the Election Commission, he said that the issue of dual citizenship was a legal one which was a victim of politics and he has a way to challenge this decision in the Supreme Court.

He said that the Supreme Court had said in its recent judgments that the Election Commission did not have the power to issue a declaration against anyone.

Journalist Matiullah Jan says that only after looking at the detailed decision of the Election Commission will it be clear on what concrete grounds this disqualification has been declared and whether this decision will not be suspended if it is challenged in the Supreme Court.

Talking to VOA, he said that many decisions of the Election Commission have been suspended in the Supreme Court before this. The implementation has been stalled for the last one and a half years.

He said that Article 62 One F has been used extensively under political engineering and lawyers associations intend to challenge Article 62 One F in the Supreme Court. According to him, the Supreme Court should answer this legal question keeping in view the public interest.

'Commission's decision came late but welcome'

Matiullah Jan said that the Election Commission, using Section 8C of the Election Act and Article 218B of the Constitution, has disqualified Faisal Wawda under Article 62F of the Constitution.

Qadir Mandokhel, a petitioner in the dual citizenship case and a member of the National Assembly of the People's Party, says that the decision of the Election Commission to disqualify Faisal Wawda after four and a half years is welcome.

Speaking to VOA, he said Faisal Wawda relinquished his dual citizenship after submitting his nomination papers, to which he was unable to respond in a judicial or election commission forum.

Qadir Mandokhel said that Article 62F of the Constitution is not clear because if someone is declared ineligible for life on the basis of this article, then this provision of the Constitution should be clear.

According to him, the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Law and Justice is considering legislation on electoral reforms and as a member of the National Assembly, he will introduce a bill in the Assembly to clarify Article 62F.

It may be recalled that Faisal Wawda was elected from NA-249 National Assembly seat from Karachi and he had defeated PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and Qadir Mandokhel was also a candidate for this seat.

'It is appropriate for Faisal to accept the decision of Wawda Commission'

Political analyst and journalist Mazhar Abbas says on Faisal Wawda's disqualification decision that Faisal Wawda thought he would not be able to retain the National Assembly seat so he resigned from his seat. Despite this situation, his party elected him a member of the upper house.

Mazhar Abbas said that Faisal Wawda's membership of the Senate would also be terminated after the decision of the Election Commission. According to him, it is more appropriate for Faisal Wawda to accept the decision of the commission so that his party does not face embarrassment.

According to Mazhar Abbas, the decision of disqualification of Faisal Wawda has created a difficult situation for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The commission has also been criticized by some political circles, but Mazhar Abbas said that political parties should adopt a tradition of accepting the decisions of the Election Commission.

Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, head of PLDAT, a non-governmental organization working to promote democracy in Pakistan, says there is a possibility that Faisal Wawda will approach the Supreme Court for a stay on the ECP's decision to allow him to join the Senate. Complete the rest of the time.


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