KP CM Gandapur says won’t let MPAs-elect on reserved seats swear in

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2024

PESHAWAR: Following the postponement of the Senate polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur reiterated that they will not allow lawmakers notified on reserved seats to take an oath, Geo News reported on Tuesday.

“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.

His remarks came 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 provincial government over the oath-taking issue.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Ahmad Karim Kundi filed a plea with the commission, stating that 25 of his party members had 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 the Constitution was “repeatedly being violated”.“We will fight this and will not back down,” Gandapur said, stressing that the party would “strongly protest” against the move.

He announced that a resolution would be passed regarding the future course of action in the parliamentary party’s meeting.Reacting to the development, KP Assembly’s opposition leader Ibadullah Khan fired a broadside at the KP chief minister, saying: “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 happens to be the custodian of the house [but he] 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 (on reserved seats). “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.

On Monday, KP Assembly Speaker Babar Saleem Swati filed a review plea in the Peshawar High Court 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 a subject of 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.