ISLAMABAD: The election for the post of Senate chairperson hasn’t already begun and PTI senators are being offered money to sell their votes, claimed Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday.
The prime minister was chairing a meeting of the party’s members where he said that the recently-held Senate elections proved the suspicions that the PTI government had.
“The Opposition used money to win the Islamabad seat,” he said, referring to Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh’s surprise loss to former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
The prime minister urged party representatives to highlight the issue of the Opposition allegedly buying votes in the Senate elections, adding that the PPP and the PML-N have been using money as a tool to influence elections in the past as well.
“These people first spend money to get elected and then spend the same money [on illegal activities],” said PM Imran Khan.
The premier continued his criticism of the Election Commission of Pakistan, saying that its role had been controversial in the recent Senate polls.
PM Imran Khan lashed out at PDM’s joint candidate for the post of Senate chairman, former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani, adding that the PPP leader had “destroyed [the concept of] morality [in politics] and the entire nation is watching his actions”.
Urging his party members to push back against the Opposition’s narrative, the PTI chairperson said that his party’s senators were already receiving offers to sell their votes for the upcoming Senate elections.
“I know very well which senator was offered what,” said the prime minister, adding that money was used to influence the Senate elections not only in Islamabad but also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
After a hotly contested electoral battle last week, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani emerged victorious against the ruling party’s Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
After the result was announced, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and the former prime minister had shaken hands and hugged each other. The news of Hafeez’s defeat was told to him by Zain Qureshi — who was the minister’s polling agent — following which the two men had embraced each other.
Gillani had secured 169 votes while Shaikh received 164 votes. Out of the total number of 341 votes, 6 were rejected and 1 was not polled.
Gillani’s certificate of election for the Senate seat was also issued by the ECP.
Following the victory, PM Imran Khan lashed out at the ECP in his address to the nation last week, blaming the commission for allowing horse-trading.
“Your biggest responsibility is a transparent election and it is your constitutional responsibility,” he had said to the ECP.
“Why did you go to the court and say there should be a secret ballot? Does the constitution ever allow a theft of votes and for bribery to occur like has been in the last 30 years?” the premier had asked.
He had said the court had allowed the commission to hold a secret vote but have some sort of identification mechanism whereby the PTI could now have discovered the 15-16 lawmakers “who sold themselves off”.
“You saved those criminals with this secret ballot and you hurt our democracy,” he had said, in indignation at the ECP’s move to ignore the Supreme Court’s provisions to identify the ballots.
“Did you not know it was your responsibility to investigate such incidents? All the agencies fall under you. This entire drama unfolded in front of everyone,” he had said, referring to the video where lawmakers can be seen shovelling currency notes into their bags.