Election Watch Update - Feb 7

Note: A shorter version of the newsletter is being produced as I’m traveling for the day. Regular transmission will resume tomorrow.

President Asif Ali Zardari’s counsel told the Lahore High Court that the president will leave his ‘political’ post soon. The court is hearing a case objecting to President Zardari being head of the country and a political party at the same time. However, the counsel noted that Zardari is co-chairperson of the PPP, an ‘association’, while the PPP-Parliamentarians – which is registered to contest elections – is headed by Makhdoom Amin Fahim. The court was also told that the President’s House would not be used for political meetings.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has been told that 70% of parliamentarians did not pay tax last year. The federal tax ombudsman wrote to the ECP last week asking for parliamentarians to take an additional oath about their tax filings. The ECP has decided to include declarations about taxes and educational qualifications. The ECP has also exempted ‘legal institutions’ such as the Supreme Court and the Islamic Ideology Council from the bar on recruitments.

Leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf met with Pakistan Awami Tehreek/Minhaj-ul-Quran leader Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri on Wednesday to discuss their objections against the ECP.