ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday challenged the nomination of former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Yousuf Raza Gilani for a Senate seat.
Mr Gilani, who hails from Multan, has been fielded as a joint candidate of the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement from Islamabad.
Fareed Rehman, a PTI Senate candidate from Islamabad, has accused Mr Gilani of concealing the facts in his nomination papers. Mr Gilani, he said, failed to mention his conviction in a contempt of court case back in 2012.
In his petition filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Mr Rehman said that the PPP leader did not fulfil the requirements for a lawmaker as mentioned in Article-62 of the Constitution.
Ex-PM discusses election strategy with Bilawal
In a related development, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Mr Gilani discussed overall political and economic situation in the country during a telephonic conversation The coming Senate elections, particularly the strategy regarding election of Mr Gilani to the Senate as a joint candidate of the PDM was discussed in detail.
Mr Gilani said that he was the “candidate of democracy and democratic forces” and hoped that all democracy-loving MNAs would vote for him in the Senate elections.
Embroiled in a controversy over the presidential ordinance on open voting, the elections are to be held on March 3.
As many as 52 senators in the house of 104 are set to retire on March 11 on completion of their six-year term. The number includes four of the eight senators from the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
As the seats representing Fata will not be filled due to the merger of the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in May 2018, the Senate strength will shrink to 100.
Polling will, therefore, be held to elect 48 members: 12 each from KP and Balochistan, 11 each from Punjab and Sindh and two from Islamabad.
The legislators will vote to elect seven members on general seats, two on seats reserved for women and as many on technocrat seats in each province. Besides, election on one minority seat each in KP and Balochistan will also be conducted.
More than 65 per cent of the senators due to retire belong to the opposition parties.
A total of 170 candidates have filed nomination papers all over the country for 48 seats, according to the data released by the ECP.
As many as 70 candidates, including 44 from the PTI, filed their nomination papers on Monday which was the last date for submission of the papers.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2021