Imran Khan submits written apology, affidavit in election code violation case
Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan today submitted a written apology and an affidavit to the election commission for violating the electoral code of conduct while casting his vote in the general election on July 25, media reports said.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reserved its verdict in the case, Geo News reported.
The ECP had sought a signed apology from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Khan for violating the electoral code of conduct by casting his vote publicly instead of going behind the voting screen.
The written reply and the affidavit were submitted by Khan during the hearing held by a four-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza, the report said.
The commission yesterday rejected the response submitted by his counsel Babar Awan who had stated that his client did not intentionally stamp his ballot publicly.
He had sought an end to the case and requested the ECP to issue the notification for Khan’s victory from NA-53 Islamabad constituency.
The suo motu case against Khan was heard after the ECP took notice of him publicly stamping the ballot paper in NA-53 Islamabad constituency, instead of going behind the voting screen to cast his vote in secrecy.
According to the reply by Khan’s counsel, photos of Khan’s ballot were taken without his permission and the curtain, used around the ballot for secrecy, had fallen due to the crowd inside the polling booth.
Imran won NA-53 seat by defeating former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, bagging 92,891 votes in contrast to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader’s 44,314 votes.
The electoral body has withheld the notification of his success from the constituency in view of the pending case.
According to the election act, a person can be given a six-month jail sentence and/or fine of Rs 1,000 for not casting his/her vote in secrecy.
On July 30, the ECP had sought a written reply from Khan, who has been nominated by the PTI as the next Prime Minister after the party emerged as the largest in the National Assembly in the election.
The 65-year-old PTI leader had contested from five constituencies and had won from all of them. But the ECP has only granted him temporary permission to take oath as a Member of the National Assembly, pending the outcome of the case of violation of electoral code of conduct.