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National Assembly's Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court Monday suspended a decision of an Election Tribunal, which nullified his election as member of the Lower House of the Parliament. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard an appeal filed by Suri against the verdict of an election tribunal as well as Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) decision to de-notify him as member parliament.

The apex court suspended the ECP's notification with directives not to issue election schedule for NA-265 (Quetta-II) from where Suri had emerged as member National Assembly in July 2018 elections. The decision was earlier passed by an election tribunal of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) following which the ECP had de-notified Suri as MNA.

In his appeal, filed through his counsel Naeem Bukhari, Suri had questioned the jurisdiction of the ECP to de-seat him when it was not constituted properly since the five-member commission was short of two members. On September 27, the Balochistan High Court election tribunal had declared the election of Suri, a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from Balochistan as void and ordered re-election in the constituency. Balochistan National Party's (BNP) Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani had challenged Suri's election, alleging rigging.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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