Shaukat must quit as minister, says CEC
By Mohammad Kamran
ISLAMABAD: Prime minister-in-waiting Shaukat Aziz will have to relinquish the charge of federal finance minister before filing his nomination papers to contest the August 18 by-election to the National Assembly (NA), official sources told Daily Times on Sunday.
The chief election commissioner (CEC) has already imposed this restriction under the Election Commission Order 2002. Sources said ministers and governors were not allowed to contest the October 2002 general elections until they resigned from public offices. The CEC had directed the returning officers to not accept their nomination papers. “The same rule will apply to the upcoming by-election,” an election commission (EC) source said.
Mr Aziz, who is a senator and holds the finance minister’s office, will file nomination papers for NA-59 Attock III and NA-229 Thaparkar-I to contest the election for the prime minister’s office.
“The principle of neutrality and impartiality demands that a minister seeking to contest a by-election relinquish his or her office,” the source said.
The EC source said that an immediate ban on the transfers of civil servants from NA constituencies would soon be imposed so that bureaucrats did not influence the election process. “A ban is also likely on new development projects by district governments till the by-elections are completed,” said the source.
The Attock and Tharparkar district nazims have pledged support to Mr Aziz not only for the NA seats, but also for the office of the prime minister.
Online adds: Mr Aziz will file nomination papers for NA-59 Attock III tomorrow (Tuesday).
Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and Attock District Nazim Maj (r) Tahir Sadiq will accompany Mr Aziz.