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ECP Suspends 150 Lawmakers for Not Submitting Assets Details

by Newsweek Pakistan

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Lawmakers barred from participating in parliamentary proceedings until they submit statements of assets and liabilities

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday suspended the membership of 150 lawmakers after they failed to submit details of their annual assets and liabilities in line with the electoral body’s requirements.

According to the ECP, three senators, 36 members of the National Assembly, 69 members of the Punjab Assembly, 14 members of the Sindh Assembly, 21 members of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and seven members of the Balochistan Assembly have had their memberships suspended. Of these, it said, were three senators of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz); several federal ministers, including Noorul Haq Qadri, Hammad Azhar, Shafqat Mahmood, and Fehmida Mirza; and several senior leaders such as former prime minister of Pakistan Peoples Party Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

The ECP said that the lawmakers were barred from participating in parliamentary proceedings so long as their memberships remained suspended, adding their membership would be restored once they submitted their individual statements.

In a notification, it stressed that under Section 137 and Sub-Section 1 of the Elections Act, 2017, every member of Parliament must provide details to the ECP of the assets of themselves and their spouses, as well as all dependent children, before Dec. 31 each year. Under Sub-Section 3 of Section 137 of the Elections Act, any lawmakers who fail to submit their details by Jan. 15 have their membership suspended on Jan. 16.

Despite the submission of assets and liabilities being an annual legal requirement, dozens of lawmakers are suspended from Parliament every year after they fail to submit the statements. Last year, the ECP had likewise suspended the membership of 154 members before they submitted their details.

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