Pakistan commission accepts ex-PM Sharif’s nomination for February poll

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s election commission on Thursday accepted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s nomination for the 2024 elections, weeks after a court overturned two graft convictions, ARY News reported.

But Sharif still needs the removal of a life ban on holding any public office to qualify to stand, so it was not immediately clear how his nomination was accepted. A hearing on that ban will be held in January.

Sharif was banned from running in elections by the Supreme Court in 2017 which declared him dishonest for not disclosing income from a company owned by his son.

More recently, a court overturned two convictions for graft.

Sharif, who arrived back home in October from four years of self-imposed exile in London, is bidding for a fourth premiership in the Feb. 8 elections.

Sharif’s biggest challenge will be to wrest back his support base from his main rival, former cricket hero Imran Khan, who, despite being in jail for graft, remains popular following his ouster from the premiership in 2022.

Khan, 71, is disqualified from the election because of the graft conviction, which he has appealed. Khan filed nomination papers for the election on Friday.

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh; editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Nick Macfie)