Imran Khan Disqualified: Pakistan’s elections commission on Friday disqualified former Prime Minister Imran Khan from holding public office on charges of unlawfully selling state gifts to him and concealing assets, his spokesman said. The move is likely to deepen lingering political turmoil in the impoverished country.
Fawad Chaudhry told reporters that the Election Commission of Pakistan announced the much-awaited verdict in the capital, Islamabad. Chaudhry condemned the move.
According to legal experts, Khan will lose his seat in the National Assembly under the verdict. The latest decision comes months after the parliament ousted Khan through a no-confidence vote.
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Angered over Khan’s disqualification, his Tehreek-e-Insaf party urged supporters to take to the streets to peacefully condemn the commission’s decision, which Khan’s party was expecting.
The latest move comes days before Khan was expected to announce his much-awaited march on Islamabad to force the government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to hold snap elections.
Sharif’s coalition government petitioned the Election Commission, seeking action against Khan on charges that he unlawfully sold state gifts that he had received from heads of other states when he was in the power.
Khan is also accused of concealing the money he received by selling those gifts. Since his ouster, Khan has claimed that his government was toppled by Sharif under a U.S. plot. Sharif and Washington both have denied the allegation.