ISLAMABAD: With the forthcoming February 8 general elections looming, a plea has been submitted to the Supreme Court requesting an order to prevent Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari from participating in the polls under the electoral symbol of “arrow”.
The plea challenges the January 23 ruling of the Sindh High Court (SHC), which permitted Bilawal to contest the 2024 election using the “arrow” symbol, designated to Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P).
Earlier, Shah Mohammad Zaman filed a petition with the SHC seeking Bilawal’s disqualification for allegedly concealing information by contesting the election under the “arrow” symbol, associated with a party led by his father, Asif Ali Zardari. The petitioner argued that Bilawal, as the PPP chairman, previously contested elections with the “sword” symbol and later with the “arrow” symbol, which was deemed unlawful.
In the latest petition to the apex court, the petitioner contends that under Section 203 of the Elections Act, 2017, an individual cannot hold membership in more than one political party simultaneously. It’s claimed that Bilawal neither suspended his membership nor resigned as PPP chairman while running as the nominated candidate of another political party, thus violating Section 203.
The petition highlights that the SHC did not appropriately interpret Sections 66, 203, and 205 of the Elections Act, 2017. Moreover, it underscores the fundamental right to due process under Article 10-A of the Constitution for all citizens, including the respondents.
The petitioner further argues that neither Bilawal nor the Election Commission of Pakistan has presented any documentation proving an alliance between the two political parties as required by the Election Act.