ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday reinstated the membership of 32 lawmakers, who are among 261 parliamentarians suspended after failing to submit record of their assets and liabilities.
According to an official statement, the electoral body has restored the membership pf Dr Fehmida Mirza, Talal Chaudhry, Mohsain Shah Nawaz Ranjha and other lawmakers in the latest move after they filed the required statements.
“In pursuance of the aforesaid provisions of law and in exercise of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Election Commission is pleased to restore, subject to all just exceptions, the membership of National Assembly and provincial assemblies, Punjab, Sindh, K-P and Balochistan of the aforesaid persons,” it added.
Earlier, the election body suspended the membership of 261 lawmakers after they failed to submit their financial details under sub-section 42A of the Representation of People Act (RoPA) by Sept 30.
They include seven senators, 71 MNAs, 84 MPAs from Punjab, 50 from Sindh, 38 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 11 from Balochistan.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s Capt (r) Safdar, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s estranged MNA Ayesha Gulalai, interior minister Talal Chaudhry, Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yousaf and former National Assembly speaker Fehmida Mirza are among the suspended lawmakers.
An ECP notification issued on Monday named members of the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies in the list of those “who have failed to file their statements of assets and liabilities” for themselves, their spouses and their dependants.
The notification directed that the lawmakers “shall cease to function as such members with immediate effect and till such statements are submitted by them”.
The greatest proportion of lawmakers who did not disclose their assets belong to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly, in which the financial statements of 30.7 percent of the assembly are awaited by the ECP, followed by the Sindh Assembly (29.7pc), the Punjab Assembly (22.6pc), the National Assembly (20.7pc), the Balochistan Assembly (16.9pc) and the Senate (6.7pc).
Under the law – RoPA – all parliamentarians are required to submit details of their assets, including those of their spouses and children, to the ECP by Sept 30.
Section 42A of the RoPA, 1976, states: “Every member shall, on a form prescribed under clause (f) of sub-section (2) of Section 12, submit a Statements of Assets & Liabilities of his own, his spouse and dependents annually to the Commission by the thirtieth day of September each year.
Last year, 336 lawmakers were suspended by the ECP for failure to submit their financial statements to the commission.