Supreme Court orders re-polling in NA-154

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct re-polling in NA-154 Lodhran-I, maintained the earlier decision of the Multan Election Tribunal in this regard.

However, the apex court suspended decision of the tribunal about lifetime disqualification of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Muhammad Siddique Khan Baloch.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Saqib Nisar gave the verdict on Wednesday in response to a petition filed by Baloch against the decision of the election tribunal announced on August 26 which had declared the election held in May 2013 in Lodhran’s NA-154 null and void and ordered the ECP to conduct fresh polls in the constituency.

The tribunal had also imposed a lifetime ban on Siddique Baloch to contest elections for possessing a fake degree.

However, the Supreme Court today nullified the election tribunal’s decision regarding Baloch’s lifetime disqualification but maintained tribunal’s decision for re-election in NA-154.

The by-election in NA-154 was scheduled on October 11 as per the election tribunal’s order. However a few days before the by-election, Siddique Baloch challenged the verdict of the election tribunal and took the stay.

Siddique’s eligibility for being member of the National Assembly and credibility of the 2013 election held in NA-154 had been challenged by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen.