ISLAMABAD: In some good news for the cancer- stricken wife of ousted Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the election authority today clarified that she remains a member of the National Assembly despite not taking oath after winning a by-poll in September.
Kulsoom Nawaz, undergoing treatment in London for throat cancer, remains a member of the National Assembly (NA) though she has not taken the oath, the Express News quoted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as saying.
Responding to a letter sent by the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf (PTI) seeking her disqualification due to delay in Kulsoom taking the oath after winning NA-120 by-elections on September 17, the ECP said she has been unable to take oath due to her medical condition.
The ECP further explained that there was no deadline for an elected member to take an oath in the national and provincial assemblies. However, it was mandatory for MNAs to take oath to be allowed to attend and vote in the parliament under Article 65 of the Constitution, the report said.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said in the letter that Kulsoom had failed to fulfill legal requirement "for the winning candidate to take an oath in the National Assembly." Chaudhry had sought legal and constitutional views of the election commissioner, putting forth the question of the possibility of re-election after declaring NA-120 polls null and void.
Kulsoom has been battling lymphoma since the diagnosis in August. She is currently receiving treatment in London and has undergone three surgeries since August.
She contested the election from a constituency vacated by Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. Kulsoom did not even campaign for the election, which was done by her daughter Maryam.
Sharif and Maryam are currently in London with Kulsoom after an anti-graft court allowed them to be with her for a some time before returning to Pakistan to face corruption charges in the Panama Papers scandal.
The by-election was viewed by many as a litmus test to see whether the powerful Sharif family still wielded influence in the country after the apex court disqualified Sharif and forced him to resign.