ISLAMABAD: Ayaz Sadiq, who was speaker of National Assembly a few hours earlier, said he would challenge the verdict of the Election Tribunal which declared the election on NA-122 null and void and ordered re-election in the constituency.
Talking to media persons he, however, said that he does have some reservations over the Election Tribunal’s verdict but he respects the ruling and would not criticize it.
“We would challenge the Election Tribunal’s verdict in the Supreme Court,” he announced, adding, ‘we have a court for expressing our reservations’.
To a reporter’s question whether he is still Speaker National Assembly or not, he said after the Election Tribunal’s verdict he is no longer an MNA, so how he could continue to keep his office.
Earlier, the Election Tribunal investigating into the rigging allegations in NA-122 declared the elections null and void for the National Assembly slot and two provincial assembly seats: PP-147 and PP-148. The tribunal ordered re-election in these constituencies.
According to Election Tribunal people were involved in rigging in NA-122. Re-election on this seat will be held with in 60 days. Since morning both the workers of PML-N and PTI were standing outside Election Tribunal office and were waiting for the result. Result was declared after the delay of several hours.
After the result PTI workers started dancing and shouting slogans in favor of the party. Imran Khan darna for more than 100 days paid off and judgment came in favor of PTI.
Ayaz Sadiq can however, appeal the tribunal’s verdict in the Supreme Court.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had defeated PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the 2013 general elections from NA-122 after which PTI had challenged the results.
A large number of supporters from Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had gathered outside the election commission office, chanting slogans in support of their leaders and against each other’s.
The tribunal’s decision, which was expected to at 10am today, was released after an unexplained delay of several hours.
PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi, termed the decision as historic, adding that it would go a long way in ensuring a transparent election system in Pakistan.
Imran Khan’s counsel, Anis Ali, said the “election tribunal had deseated Ayaz Sadiq” as member of the National Assembly, adding that he was “no more the speaker of the house.”
Tribunal member Kazim Ali Malik had on Aug 17 reserved the verdict after Sadiq’s counsel concluded his arguments against the petition filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the runner-up candidate from the constituency.
The tribunal had issued special passes to five persons from each side — PTI and PML-N — to hear the decision.
NA-122 was among the four controversial constituencies — the other three being NA-110 (Sialkot), NA-125 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran) — where PTI had demanded for voters’ thumbprint verification in the hopes of finding a solution that might be acceptable to all concerned.
It is to be mentioned here that proceedings of Imran Khan’s petition remained suspended for a year. The Lahore High Court on Nov 4, 2013, had granted a stay to the NA speaker against the proceedings before the tribunal. The court on Nov 20, 2014, recalled the stay order and allowed the tribunal to proceed with the case.
The PTI chief visited the election tribunal twice; first on Nov 26, 2014, with a request not to combine decisions of NA-122 and PP-147 and the second time on Dec 6, 2014, to record his statement. The NA speaker also recorded his statement before the tribunal on Feb 7, 2015.
The tribunal appointed a retired sessions judge as local commission on Dec 8, 2014. On tribunal’s order, Nadra held an inspection of the constituency record and submitted its final report on May 9, 2015. The authority submitted a supplementary report on May 30.