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Ex-PM Imran Khan’s Nomination Rejected by Pakistan Poll Body for 2024 Elections

Top NewsEx-PM Imran Khan’s Nomination Rejected by Pakistan Poll Body for 2024 Elections
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s hopes to contest the 2024 parliamentary elections in Pakistan have been dashed as the election body rejected his nomination. The Pakistan Tahreek-e Insaf (PTI) party, led by Khan, has accused authorities of obstructing the participation of most of its candidates in the forthcoming elections scheduled for February. Despite serving a three-year prison sentence for corruption, the 71-year-old ex-cricket star attempted to file nomination papers but was disallowed due to his conviction and subsequent disqualification under the country’s constitution, as cited in documents seen by the AP.

Challenges Faced by Imran Khan

Election officials cited Khan’s conviction and disqualification as reasons for rejecting his candidacy, further fueling the contention surrounding his aspirations to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released a list of rejected nominees, which included the former prime minister’s name. Moreover, Khan’s bid to run for nomination was also turned down in his hometown of Mianwali in Punjab province, marking a setback for his political ambitions.

Imran Khan's Legal Battle

Following his incarceration in August for allegations of unlawfully selling state gifts while in office, Khan has maintained a relatively low profile. Despite being granted bail by the Supreme Court in a case regarding alleged leaks of state secrets, he continues to grapple with a series of legal battles dating back to his removal from office the previous year.

Challenges in the Political Arena

Imran Khan’s PTI party has been vocal about its allegations of the Pakistani military collaborating with traditional political entities to thwart its political influence and inhibit Khan from seeking public office again. Khan has openly accused the country’s powerful military of collusion with established parties to undermine his party’s standing. With Pakistan’s military historically exercising significant influence in the nation’s politics, the role of the army continues to be a subject of scrutiny.
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International Involvement

Khan’s claims have not been confined to domestic actors, as he has also alleged a conspiracy involving the Pakistani military and the United States government in a bid to dismantle his administration. Notably, he asserted that his visit to Moscow, just ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, triggered concerted efforts to dislodge him from power. Despite denials from Washington and Pakistan’s military, The Intercept, a US-based news site, published details of a confidential diplomatic cable suggesting the US administration’s interest in removing Khan from office.

Legal Maneuvers and Opposition

While the ECP previously ruled against PTI contesting general elections using its cricket bat logo, a recent legal victory in the High Court of Peshawar saw the suspension of this ruling, providing a glimmer of hope for the party. However, the rejection of nomination papers from senior PTI members, including vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has further exacerbated the political challenges faced by Khan and his party.

Comparative Development with Opposition

In a contrasting development, the election commission accepted a nomination bid from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in two constituencies, following the overturning of two corruption convictions by a court. Despite Sharif’s own legal entanglements over the years, including a four-year self-imposed exile in the UK, the PML-N leader is navigating a legal hurdle to lift a life ban on holding public office. This presents a potential rivalry between the established political forces in Pakistan as the country heads towards the elections.

Accusations of Bias

The PTI has accused Pakistani authorities of rejecting 90% of nominations from its party candidates, amplifying the perception of bias in the electoral process. Meanwhile, nominations from other parties, including Sharif’s PML-N, have been seemingly more readily accepted, raising concerns about fairness and impartiality in the run-up to the elections.
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Conclusion

Imran Khan’s ambitions to contest the 2024 parliamentary elections have encountered substantial impediments, reflective of the dynamic and often contentious political landscape in Pakistan. The rejection of his nomination, along with the broader challenges faced by his party, underscores the complexity of political transitions and the contestation of power in the country’s democratic process. This article is based on information provided by www.aljazeera.com.
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