Won’t allow oath-taking on reserved seats: Gandapur


After the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) postponed the Senate polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur reiterated that they won’t allow lawmakers elected on reserved seats to take an oath.
“Those who became [assembly] members illegally will not be allowed to take oath […] We will not compromise on our constitutional right,” Gandapur said while speaking to the media outside the KP Assembly in Peshawar on Tuesday.
His remarks come after Senate elections were postponed in the province by the ECP after it was moved by the opposition parties in the wake of their ongoing stand-off with the government over the oath-taking issue. Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Ahmad Karim Kundi, in a plea filed with the commission, had said that 25 of his party’s members have not yet been sworn in and requested that the polls be postponed.
In response to the postponement of polls, the chief minister, while lamenting the allocation of reserved seats to other political parties, said that the Constitution was “repeatedly being violated”. “We will fight this and will not back down,” Gandapur said, further stressing that the party would “strongly protest” against the move.
He further announced that a resolution would be passed regarding the future course of action in the parliamentary party’s meeting.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, KP Assembly Opposition leader Ibadullah Khan fired a broadside at the KP chief minister saying that “these people neither obey the courts nor the ECP […] but only obey ‘prisoner 804’ (a reference to the incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder Imran Khan)”.
“The assembly speaker is the custodian of the house [who] is absent today and failed to fulfil his duty,” Khan said while speaking to the media outside the KP Assembly.
“Our position is that the Senate polls should be held only after the swearing-in of the elected members. “Senate elections didn’t take place due to the government’s stubbornness. It is unfortunate that, unlike the rest of the country, Senate elections are not being held here [in KP],” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said.
A day earlier, KP Assembly Speaker Babar Saleem Swati on Monday filed a review plea in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) over the direction issued by the court to administer the oath to the lawmakers elected on reserved seats.
Oath-taking on reserved seats in KP has been subject to controversy owing to the deadlock between the provincial government and opposition parties.
The issue is crucial for both the ruling and opposition parties in the wake of the province’s 11 seats in the upper house of the parliament.