ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday filed a petition in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), asking it not to issue the notification about former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s victory on a general seat from Islamabad in the recently held Senate elections.
The petition has been filed on the basis of a leaked audio clip of Sindh Minister Nasir Hussain Shah purportedly bargaining with four PTI lawmakers for their votes in the Senate elections and a video of Mr Gilani’s son Ali Haider Gilani in which he is allegedly showing some PTI MNAs techniques to waste their votes.
The issuance of the notification should be stopped till action on the video scandal is completed, the petition filed by PTI lawmakers Farrukh Habib, Maleeka Bokhari and Kanwal Shauzab says.
PPP’s senator-elect seeks MQM support in bid to become Senate chairman
“Ali Haider Gilani kept bribing members of the National Assembly,” claim the petitioners. They have also alleged that Maryam Nawaz, in her speeches, made promises of giving lawmakers a PML-N ticket in the next general elections if they vote for Gilani.
The lawmakers have also filed a petition seeking Ali Haider Gilani’s disqualification from the Punjab Assembly.
On Wednesday, the opposition’s joint candidate former prime minister Gilani defeated the government’s candidate, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, in the Senate elections for the general seat from Islamabad.
A day before the Senate election, a video and audio clip had surfaced which the PTI claims provides evidence of vote-buying by the opposition to secure the former prime minister’s victory.
In the video that surfaced on social media, Ali Haider Gilani is allegedly instructing PTI MPs on how to waste their votes.
Ali Haider Gilani admitted to his conversation with the PTI lawmakers, but said he was just responding to their question as to what to do if the votes are made traceable by a barcode. He, however, said he had made no attempt to ‘buy’ votes.
Yousuf Raza Gilani also defended his son, saying that they were seeking votes from all MNAs as they formed the electoral college for the Senate elections. He said he had also contacted Prime Minister Imran Khan in this connection.
The ECP will take up for hearing on March 11 — a day before the election for the coveted office of Senate chairman — a petition seeking Mr Gilani’s disqualification.
Mr Gilani is most likely to be the PDM candidate for the slot against sitting Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, who is being fielded by the PTI.
Meanwhile, newly elected senator and former prime minister Gilani on Saturday met MQM-P convener and MNA Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to seek support for PDM candidates in the elections for Senate chairman and deputy chairman.
MQM-P is part of the federal coalition government and had earlier turned down the PDM’s request not to vote for finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in Senate polls.
The party also gave a vote of confidence to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday.
Speaking on the floor of the house, the MQM-P convener congratulated Mr Khan and said they reposed their confidence in him on time and now he should give confidence to the nation.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2021