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IHC declares Sadiq Sanjrani eligible to be acting president

ISLAMABAD:     The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday declared Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani eligible to serve as acting president of Pakistan.
The decision, reserved by the court on February 14, was announced by IHC judge Justice Aamir Farooq. Petitioner Afzal Shinwari had filed the plea through Advocate Iftikhar Bashir in June 2018, contesting that appointing Sanjrani as acting president would be in violation of Article 49 of the Constitution.
“According to the Constitution, a person below the age of 45 years is not eligible to become the acting president of Pakistan,” the petition stated.
According to Article 49 of the Constitution, the Senate chairman becomes acting president in the absence of the head of state. However, Article 41 states that the individual needs to be more than 45 years of age.
The petition pointed out that Sanjrani was 40-years-old and did not fulfill the basic requirement to hold office in the absence of the president.
Opposing the petition, Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood had contended that the age limit was applicable for candidates contesting the presidential election.
He maintained that Sanjrani would only serve as acting president and urged the court to dismiss the petition.
A native of Balochistan, Sanjrani was elected Senate chairman in March 2018 after securing 57 votes in the 104-member upper house of parliament. His election was supported by the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and independent senators from Balochistan.

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