ECP rejects PTI petition to block Gillani’s Senate victory notification

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the PTI’s petition to block former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s Senate victory notification.

The PPP leader had defeated Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the recently-held Senate election, polling 169 votes against Shaikh’s 164. Six votes were rejected and one was not polled.

However, the ECP has fixed a hearing to discuss the Ali Haider Gillani video scandal on March 22 and has issued notices to all parties to the case.

Following the verdict, PTI’s Maleeka Bokhari said that the first part of their petition, related to the Ali Haider Gillani video, has been held maintainable.

“If you and your son is issued notices and you are asked to explain whether you used corrupt practices and stole votes, you have already lost,” said Bokhari to Gillani.

“Take yourself out of the race for the PDM’s candidate for Senate election,” she told the former prime minister, adding that he no longer had any moral justification to contest the Senate chairman election anymore.

Bokhari said a question mark had been raised on the former prime minister’s claim to be “Sadiq and Ameen”.

PTI’s Farrukh Habib said that the ECP had seen Ali Haider Gillani’s video and issued notices relating to it. “This means the ECP has seen our evidence and there is credibility in them,” he said.

PTI’s Aliya Hamza Malik wondered why the PDM’s slogan of “Vote Ko Izzat Do” wasn’t being implemented upon by the Opposition parties when it came to the Senate elections, adding that they had used the money to influence the results.

Malik said PM Imran Khan and his party members would “fight till the last ball” and that they will rest only after the “vote thief” PPP leader is disqualified from contesting the Senate elections.

“I would urge the PDM to think about it — their Senate [chairman] candidate can be disqualified at any time,” she warned.

Following Gillani’s victory — who was the joint Senate candidate of the PDM — PM Imran Khan leveled serious accusations against the Opposition, claiming that they had used money to buy government lawmakers.

The PTI had approached the electoral body after a video emerged in which Gillani’s son, Ali Haider Gilani, was filmed telling PTI lawmakers how to discard their votes.

A four-member committee of the ECP had reserved its verdict today after hearing arguments from the ruling party.

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