On Monday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared that it had revoked the membership of 154 members of the Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies for failure to file asset and responsibility statements.
Among the MNAs whose membership has been revoked are Fehmida Mirza, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology, Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Maritime Affairs, and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
Legislators are expected to send a declaration of their assets and liabilities, as well as those of their spouses and minor children, by December 31 each year, pursuant to Section 137(1) of the Elections Act, 2017.
Before they file their respective comments, the membership of the legislators will remain suspended.
“Don’t understand the fuss!”Don’t get the fuss!
For not making the declaration, the ECP suspends the membership of dozens of lawmakers almost every year. About 300 politicians refused to give reports of their holdings last year.
In the Elections Act, section 137 reads:
(1) Every Member of the Assembly and of the Senate shall send to the Committee, on or before 31 December of each year, a copy of its declaration of assets and liabilities, including the assets and liabilities of its spouse and dependent children, as filed on Form B on the 30th day of June preceding that date.
(2) The Commission shall print, by means of a press release on the first day of January of each year, the names of members who have not submitted the appropriate declaration of assets and liabilities during the time stated in subsection (2) (1).
(3) By order of the sixteenth day of January, the Commission shall revoke the membership of a Member of the Assembly and of the Senate which fails to apply the statement of assets and liabilities by the fifteenth day of January and which ceases to operate until the statement of assets and liabilities has been filed.
(4) If a Member submits a declaration of the assets and liabilities referred to in this section which is found to be incorrect in the information evidence, it may continue, within one hundred and twenty days of the date of the submission of the declaration, to commit an offence of corrupt activity.