Islamabad: A Pakistani election tribunal on Monday declared former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf ineligible for contesting the upcoming general election. The tribunal comprising judges of the Lahore High Court upheld a Returning Officer's decision to reject nomination papers filed by Ashraf to contest polls from a parliamentary constituency in his hometown of Gujjar Khan.
The tribunal rejected an appeal filed by Ashraf against the Returning Officer's decision to reject his nomination papers because of his alleged involvement in corruption in clearing power projects and development schemes in Gujjar Khan. The development is a setback for the Pakistan People's Party, which led the outgoing government.
Ashraf had planned to run for parliament from Gujjar Khan, where he had won the last two elections. A relative of Raja Jawaid Ikhlas, Ashraf's opponent in the constituency, had complained that the former premier had misused discretionary funds.
He alleged that this was tantamount to "pre-poll rigging". Ashraf's lawyer, former Law Minister Farooq Naek, said the PPP will appeal against the tribunal s decision.
Pakistan will go to the polls on May 11 to choose new national and provincial assemblies, marking the first democratic transition of power in the country's history.