HomeSportsFinal chance for Vawda to submit arguments in dual nationality case: ECP

    Final chance for Vawda to submit arguments in dual nationality case: ECP

    ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday gave Senator Faisal Vawda a final opportunity to submit his response on a petition seeking his disqualification on charges of hiding his dual nationality at the time of the 2018 general elections.

    In January last, a report revealed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader may have committed perjury by falsely declaring in an oath, submitted at the time of filing his nomination papers in June 2018, that he did not hold any foreign nationality while he was in possession of a United States passport.

    The minister remained a US national even when the scrutiny of his nomination papers was completed. He resigned from his National Assembly seat in March hours before he was elected to the Upper House.

    The Supreme Court had ruled that candidates holding dual nationality are to submit a renunciation certificate of the foreign nationality along with their nomination papers.

    Days after the publishing of the report, a petition was filed with the commission, challenging Vawda’s election in 2018.

    In March, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) held that prima facie the oath, or affidavit, submitted by the senator regarding his US nationality in 2018 was “false”.

    “Since the affidavits were tendered before the Election Commission of Pakistan, it is just and proper that the ECP probes into the matter of veracity of affidavit furnished by Faisal Vawda on 11.06.2018 and if the same is found to be false to stipulate the effect thereof pursuant to observations made in PLD 2020 SC 591,” the order said.

    At the hearing Thursday, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, who is heading a three-member bench in this case, observed it had been established that Vawda had dual citizenship and if he had renounced the same he should submit a certificate to the body.

    Addressing Vawda, Raja gave him the option to either submit his arguments in writing to the commission, in which case the bench would reserve its ruling on the matter, or present the arguments himself so that the bench could issue a ruling.

    “If no one attends the next hearing, we will reserve the verdict [in the case],” Raja said.

    He said the commission had to conclude the pending cases in order to focus on preparing for the next elections.

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