Kalsoom Nawaz unlikely to get tiger symbol in NA-120 by-polls
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will not assign the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s traditional ‘lion’ as an election symbol to Kulsoom Nawaz for her candidacy in NA-120 by-elections as the party is yet to elect a new president after Mian Nawaz’s disqualification.
The ECP had issued a notice to the PML-N for the appointment of a new party head soon after the disqualification of the former prime minister by the Supreme Court.
The ECP in their notice said that under the Political Parties Order 2002, a disqualified lawmaker cannot hold office in a political party. The notification also referred to the Supreme Court order on the Panama Papers case, in which Nawaz Sharif was formally asked to step down as prime minister. The ECP also observed that Article 15 of the PML-N’s own party constitution is clear in this respect and says that if the seat of party president is vacant, it is to be filled within one week’s time.
PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq said that a decision has been taken to elect Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif as the party president. However, a formal announcement in this regard is yet to be made.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, Umar Hayat, Director (Legal) in the provincial election commission, confirmed that the ECP will not issue election symbol lion to whoever the PML-N candidate will be.
“The ECP has issued notice to the PML-N to elect new party head which the party has failed to do so till now. When a candidate files nomination papers, he/she has to submit them with signatures of party chief in letter head.”
He further added that if the any candidate files nomination papers without brining a letter signed by the party head, they will not be given an election symbol.
“The rules are clear in this regard and the ECP has already done its job by informing the PMl-N,” added Umar Hayat.
When asked whether there is possibility of rejection of nomination papers of PML-N candidate, Umar Hayat ruled out the possibility of the papers being rejected.
“They will however, he/she will be considered an independent candidate and allotted symbol accordingly” he said.
On the other hand, Sultan Bhatti, Deputy Director (elections) in the provincial election commission denied even having knowledge of the ECP’s notice to the PML-N to elect a new party head.
“I can’t comment on the issue as I have no knowledge about the notice. It is premature to say anything right now.”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has fielded Dr Yasmeen Rashid its candidate for the constituency. Kulsoom Nawaz submitted her nomination papers on Friday.
The last date to file appeals against any rejections will be August 21, while the last date for the Appellate Tribunal to decide on those appeals will be August 24. A candidate can withdraw from the election process by August 25 latest.
Meanwhile, the list of revised candidates will be published on August 26 and the polls will be held on September 17.