Pakistan former PM Imran Khan barred from election candidacy: party

Pakistan former PM Imran Khan barred from election candidacy: party

Pakistan former PM Imran Khan barred from election candidacy: party

Following the closing of nominations on Sunday, party leaders said that the majority of Imran Khan’s followers, the imprisoned former prime minister of Pakistan, had been disqualified from running for office in the election scheduled for February 8.

Since August, Khan has been detained and is awaiting trial in connection with many charges that he claims were set up to keep him from running for office as the leader of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

The former cricket great was convicted guilty of corruption earlier this year; however, the judgement is being reviewed and a judge postponed his three-year term.

Despite the fact that Khan’s conviction banned him from office, PTI submitted Khan’s candidature papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last week.

“Nomination papers of almost all national and provincial leaders of PTI, including Imran Khan, have been rejected,” said PTI spokesman Raoof Hasan. “90 to 95 percent of our candidates’ papers have been rejected.”

Hasan told AFP candidates were being blocked as part of an “agenda” to prevent PTI from contesting the election.

“All tactics are being tried for this purpose but, under any circumstances, we will not leave the political ground and will not boycott the elections,” he said.

An election commission official told AFP various PTI candidates had been rebuffed including Khan, based on his conviction.

The commission is due to announce the final list of contesting candidates on January 23.

PTI’s claim it is already being frozen out of the electoral process is likely to lead to a slew of appeals to the ECP and various courts.

“We will stay in the elections and will file appeals against all these decisions in each of the constituencies and will use all our constitutional, legal and political options,” Hasan said.

Khan, 71, was ousted last year after falling out with Pakistan’s powerful military leaders who backed him into power in 2018.

In opposition, he waged an unprecedented campaign of defiance against the military establishment which has directly ruled the nation for much of its history.

He accused them of engineering his removal from office in a no-confidence vote via a US-backed conspiracy and of plotting an assassination attempt that saw him wounded.

After Khan’s brief detention in May sparked unrest, PTI has been the subject of a widespread crackdown, with leading figures either jailed or forced to leave the party.