Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar has challenged the Friday’s election for the Punjab Assembly speaker in the Lahore High Court (LHC), claiming that it was held in an ‘illegal and unconstitutional manner’.
On Friday, Khokhar had lost the election to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Sibtain Khan.
Today, in his petition, Khokhar stated that the election was held in violation of Article 226 of the Constitution as votes had not been cast through a secret ballot.
“The ballot papers and counterfoils were serial numbered in such a manner that a choice exercised by each MPA could be identified by comparing the serial number on the ballot paper and serial number and signatures of MPAs on the counterfoils of the ballot papers. As a result, the secrecy of the ballot could easily be breached. That non-holding of the election of the speaker through a secret ballot is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and without jurisdiction,” Khokhar stated.
He stated that under the Constitution, the province’s governor is to decide the date for the speaker’s election. Instead, he said, permission was sought to move a resolution for suspending the relevant assembly rules, especially the governor’s powers to summon a session for the election.
He requested the court to declare the “impugned” election illegal, proclaim the contest to be void, and issue directions for holding the election in accordance with the provisions the Constitution.
He also urged the court to restrain Sibatin from exercising powers and functions of the speaker.