Graduation degree not necessary for contesting polls: ECP

Ishtiak Ahmad Khan, Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan, has said that the graduation degree is not a pre-requisite for contesting polls.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, he said that holding graduation degree was a precondition to contest the national and provincial assemblies elections in February 2008. However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan removed this condition in April, 2008 with the result that now graduation degree is not a pre-requisite for contesting an election or a bye-election.

The secretary further stated that after General Elections, 2008 more than 200 election petitions were filed. Out of these 70 election petitions challenged the fake degrees. Twenty-four of such petitions have so far been decided by the Election Tribunals whereas, 46 are still pending decisions.

He said that under the amended Article 62(f) of the Constitution read with section 99(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976, a person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of Parliament or an assembly unless he is sagacious, righteous, non-profligate and honest , there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.

The Secretary said the commission is waiting for the detailed judgement of the supreme court in respect of the fake degree case and after going through the same the ECP would be in a position to clarify as to what action can be taken in the light of those judgments with regard to persons whose degrees have been declared to be fake and bogus by the courts.

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