Pakistan Supreme Court Dismisses Plea for Annulment of Feb 8 Elections | World News newsbhunt

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed as a ‘publicity stunt’ a petition seeking new elections over alleged irregularities in the February 8 polls, clearing the way for the formation of a coalition government to end the political uncertainty in the country.
The apex court also imposed a fine on the petitioner, a former army officer, over his failure to appear before the court.
Retired Brigadier Ali Khan last week urged the apex court to order new elections within 30 days to be held under the direct supervision and oversight of the judiciary ‘to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability’. He had also sought a stay order to stop the formation of a new government till the case was decided.
However, the petitioner failed to attend two consecutive hearings. Subsequently, a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, and comprising of Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali, disposed of the plea and imposed a fine of Pakistani Rs 500,000 on the petitioner after being informed that a notice had been served to him appear in the court.
Earlier, the court was informed that Ali was a former Brigadier who had been tried in a court martial in 2012 and dismissed from service. The chief justice read aloud an email sent to the top court by the petitioner, in which he had stated that he was abroad and had requested to withdraw his petition.
Calling it a ‘publicity stunt’, CJP Isa observed that Brig (retd) Ali Khan had stated he could not appear before the court as he was in Bahrain.
“He is a strange person; people buy a return ticket due to it being cheaper but he booked a one-way ticket. It seems that Ali Khan had done a publicity stunt by filing a petition before the Supreme Court,” the CJP was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
Meanwhile, in a breakthrough that could end the political uncertainty in Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government after intense negotiations following a fractured poll verdict.
In a joint news conference late Tuesday night at Zardari House here, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari announced that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, 72, will assume the role of the prime minister once again. Similarly, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, 68, will be the joint candidate for the president’s office.
The February 8 elections have been controversial with several serious allegations of widespread rigging to alter the results.
A Pakistan high court on Monday suspended the result of three constituencies in the federal capital after the success of the three candidates was challenged. The three losing candidates, who were backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, had petitioned in the Islamabad High Court, alleging manipulation of the results.
On February 17, former Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha alleged that the chief election commissioner and the chief justice were involved in poll-rigging in the recent election as he resigned from his post, taking the “responsibility for all this wrongdoing”.



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