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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a reference seeking the disqualification of 25 dissident MPAs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who had voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz in the election for the Punjab chief minister.

According to the ECP, the verdict on disqualification references would be announced after notifying all involved parties.

Last month, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi sent the disqualification references against the PTI’s dissident members to the ECP after Elahi, who was the joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q, did not receive any vote as both parties boycotted the voting session.

Earlier in the day, the ECP reserved its verdict on references against deviant members.

During today’s hearing, the counsel for the dissident members of the provincial assembly argued that the MPAs were unaware of the directions given by the parliamentary party about voting for Pervaiz Elahi for the slot of Punjab chief minister.

PTI lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar pleaded before the ECP that the vote had been cast against party directions and the defectors will have to be removed.

“Any other decision by the ECP will mean frustrating the aspirations of the people and defeating the provisions of the Constitution,” he argued.

Defendant’s lawyers requested that the references be removed, after which the ECP reserved its decision on completion of the arguments.