Nawaz Sharif, brother allowed to contest by-elections

June 1st, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, June 1 (Xinhua) Pakistan’s election commission Sunday allowed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to run in a parliamentary by-election. The commission also allowed Shahbaz, younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, to contest a provincial assembly seat. Shahbaz is president of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) faction.

A two-member election tribunal failed Saturday to agree on whether Sharif could take part in the by-election due to divergence of opinion between the two judges.

Sharif, who was banned from taking part in the February elections on ground of criminal convictions, has filed papers to run in the by-elections this month to a parliament seat from Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

Sharif’s nomination papers were challenged on the plea that he was convicted by a court on a variety of charges after he was overthrown in 1999 in a bloodless military coup by General Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif refused to fight the case in the court as he refused to appear before those judges who took oath under an interim order issued by President Musharraf when he proclaimed emergency in November 2007.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the second largest party in the Feb 18 general elections after assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party.

The PML-N has formed the government in Punjab province.

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