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Pakistan

JI to challenge controversial Elections Bill 2017

ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami announced on Tuesday to challenge the controversial Elections Bill 2017, which was passed in the National Assembly on Monday.

The recently-passed bill contains a clause which allows politicians disqualified from holding public office to lead political parties — an apparent bid by the government to re-elect ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president.

“We will approach the court over the elections bill tomorrow,”

announced JI Amir Siraj-ul-Haq while addressing media in Islamabad.

“Law should rule the country, not one person or a family. A system like this just can not work,” said the JI emir.

Speaking about the bill, he said that the entire opposition was against the bill. In fact, many members even tore the copy of the bill and protested in the National Assembly.

“All the opposition members’ speeches pointed that the passed bill is not the one that the parliament had agreed on.” He also remarked that JI is working against corruption in the country. “We want to protect the country’s democracy, traditions and institutions.”

He added, “corruption will no longer be accepted in Pakistan.” While referring to PML-N leaders, he said: “If you don’t agree with SC’s verdict then you shouldn’t take the help of the legal fraternity.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Sheikh Rasheed-led Awami Muslim League have also decided to challenge the law.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Awami Tehreek had challenged the Elections Bill 2017 in the Lahore High Court, pleading to have the law declared null and void.

In the petition, the PAT has argued that the bill is against the spirit of the Constitution by enabling a disqualified person to become a party leader.

The National Assembly on Monday passed the Elections Bill 2017, paving way for the former prime minister to regain chairmanship of the ruling party.

The bill was also ratified by President Mamnoon Hussain.

Enraged opposition members had protested the passing of the bill and tore copies of it after it was presented by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.