Saturday Mar 06 2021
Web Desk

'ECP should seek briefing from security agencies on corruption in Senate election'

Web Desk
Prime Minister Imran Khan (extreme left), Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Asad Umar and Defense Minister Pervaiz Khattak sit in the National Assembly on March 3, 2021 ahead of a vote of confidence in the prime minister. 

ISLAMABAD: In his speech after securing a vote of confidence from the National Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to seek a briefing from the country's security agencies regarding how the Senate elections were corrupted.

Remarking that the ECP seemed to have taken offense to his criticism over alleged corruption in the Senate elections, the premier asked if the criticism had taken away from the Commission's freedoms. 

"I was disappointed that the ECP declared that the elections had been conducted well. If this was a well-organised election, what do the bad ones look like?" he asked. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan had on Friday expressed disappointment over Prime Minister Imran Khan's hard-hitting speech and statements from a few cabinet members from a day earlier, insisting that the Senate elections were held according to the law and Constitution.

Referring to former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's victory over Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the ECP said it 'rejects' the analysis and criticism that is being levelled over one result of the Senate elections.

"This is the beauty of democracy and independent elections and the secret ballot which the entire nation witnessed, which was according to the Constitution," it said.

Read More: Will not come under any sort of pressure: ECP responds to PM Imran Khan's criticism 

"It was known for more than a month that money was being pooled for the Senate election," the prime minister said in parliament today. "The rate started at Rs20 million. The Election Commission should seek a briefing from the agencies, it will find out how much money was used."

"Our parliamentarians were approached and offered Rs20 million in return for their votes." 

"The corrupt Yusuf Raza Gilani won a Senate seat. [Asif Ali] Zardari is so powerful because he bribes people. The world knows him as Mr 10%; meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif is sitting abroad and scheming on how to bribe people," he said. 

On Thursday, the prime minister had heavily criticised the ECP, saying: "You allowed corruption to occur at the top, and this happened right before you, and you knew it would happen [...] You provided an opportunity for the country's democracy to be discredited [...] I ask you, has the strength of our democracy increased or decreased with this open horse-trading?"

Read More: Will not come under any sort of pressure: ECP responds to PM Imran Khan's criticism

"Your biggest responsibility is a transparent election and it is your constitutional responsibility," he had said to the ECP.