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Supreme Court Reinstates Abdul Khaliq Achakzai as Balochistan Assembly Speaker

Balochistan Assembly Speaker

ISLAMABAD: In a significant ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court reinstated Abdul Khaliq Achakzai as the speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, overturning the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) suspension order.

This decision followed the electoral watchdog’s suspension of Achakzai’s success notification and its directive for re-polling, which came at the behest of opposition candidate Asghar Khan Achakzai.

Allegations of irregularities and rigging during the electoral process surrounded the controversy. Responding to the ECP’s decision, a challenge was mounted by the PML-N leader in the apex court.

Achakzai emerged victorious from the constituency with 20,390 votes, defeating his opponent Asghar Achakzai of the ANP, who secured 19,623 votes.

Today, a three-member bench, headed by Justice Aminuddin Khan, presided over the case and referred it back to the ECP with the consent of the candidates.

The court not only annulled the ECP’s order for re-polling at 12 polling stations in Chaman’s PB-51 constituency but also instructed the electoral body to hold hearings and reach a decision within 10 days.

Justice Aminuddin Khan questioned the legality of the ECP’s decision to order re-polling at specific stations, stating that the electoral body had disregarded others. Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar added that the ECP should have conducted a comprehensive inquiry into the entire constituency rather than focusing solely on a few stations.

The electoral watchdog had mandated re-elections at polling stations 56, 57, 61, 62, 79, 89, 90, 91, 95, 106, 129, and 130 of the PB-51 constituency.

This ruling underscores the judiciary’s commitment to upholding fairness and transparency in the electoral process. It emphasizes the importance of thoroughly investigating allegations of irregularities to ensure the integrity of democratic institutions.

Moving forward, the ECP is expected to conduct a comprehensive review, considering all aspects of the electoral process in the PB-51 constituency. The court’s directive for a swift resolution within 10 days aims to provide clarity and closure to the electoral dispute.

The decision also serves as a reminder of the critical role played by the judiciary in safeguarding the democratic principles of accountability and justice. By reinstating Abdul Khaliq Achakzai as the Balochistan Assembly speaker, the Supreme Court reaffirms its commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of elected officials.

Overall, this ruling marks a significant development in the ongoing electoral dispute, offering hope for a resolution that respects the democratic mandate of the people while ensuring transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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