KARACHI (Pakistan): Pakistan’s election body has rejected former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nomination to contest the 2024 national elections in two constituencies, officials and his party’s media team said on Saturday.
The 71-year-old former cricket star has been embroiled in a tangle of political and legal battles since he was ousted as prime minister in April 2022. He has not been seen in public since he was jailed for three years in August for unlawfully selling state gifts while in office from 2018 to 2022.
Khan has been disqualified from contesting the national elections scheduled for Feb. 8 because of the corruption conviction, but he nevertheless filed nomination papers for the elections on Friday, his media team said.
In a list of rejected candidates from Lahore, the Election Commission of Pakistan said Khan’s nomination was rejected because he was not a registered voter of the constituency and because he is “convicted by the court of law and has been disqualified”.
His media team said the commission had also rejected his nomination to contest the elections from his hometown, Mianwali.
Khan, who is widely seen as the country’s most popular leader, says he is being targeted by the powerful military, which wants to keep him out of the polls. The military denies the charge.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court granted Khan bail in a case related to a leak of state secrets last Friday, a day after a high court refused to suspend his disqualification from contesting the elections. – Reuters