Saturday, March 06, 2021

PTI asks ECP to not issue Yousuf Raza Gilani's victory notification

Plea against Gilani's victory has been filed by PTI’s Farrukh Habib, Maleeka Bokhari, and Kanwal Shauzab

Senator elect Yusuf Raza Gilani. Photo: File

  • PTI wants ECP to put on hold Yousuf Raza Gilani's notification till action on video scandal is completed.
  • PTI has also filed a plea seeking his son, Ali Haider Gilani's disqualification from Punjab Assembly.
  • PTI claims that Ali Haider Gilani bribed MNAs to vote for his father.

ISLAMABAD: The PTI has filed a petition with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asking it to not issue the notification declaring Yousuf Raza Gilani as the winner for the Islamabad general seat for Senate.

The petition was filed by PTI’s Farrukh Habib, Maleeka Bokhari and Kanwal Shauzab. The lawmakers have filed it based on a controversial audio clip of Sindh minister Nasir Hussain Shah and a video of Ali Haider Gilani.

“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.

Read more: PTI to investigate against its MNAs who voted for Gilani, says Governor Ismail

“Yousuf Raza Gilani's notification should be stopped till action on the video scandal is complete,” said the petitioners.

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 Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani defeated the government's candidate, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in the Senate elections for the general seat from Islamabad.

The victory was not taken well by the ruling PTI.

Controversial clips surface

A day before the March 3 Senate election, a video and audio clip had surfaced which the PTI claims is evidence of vote-buying by the Opposition to secure the former prime minister's victory.

Read more: PPP's Ali Haider Gilani, Nasir Shah accused of buying Senate votes after 'leaked' audio clip

In the video that surfaced on social media, Ali Haider Gilani is allegedly instructing PTI MPs on how to waste their votes.

It isn't possible to make out who Gilani was speaking to allegedly about wasting the Senate vote.

Ali Haider Gilani admitted that it is him who can be seen in the video but refuted claims of buying Senate votes

Audio recordings were also "leaked" to the media, adding fuel to the controversy surrounding corrupt practices in the Senate elections.

The recordings are alleged to be discussions between lawmakers and a telephonic conversation between Ali Haider Gilani and Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah.

Read more: Govt to demand Yousuf Raza Gilani's disqualification from Senate election

In the leaked audio recordings, multiple people can be heard discussing "offers" worth tens of millions of rupees allegedly being made to lawmakers for their votes ahead of the Senate polls.

A man, alleged to be Ali Haider, can be heard saying in one of the recordings that he has spoken to Nasir Shah, who asked him to bring down the demands made by the PTI MPs for hire.

An assurance is given in the audio that, apart from the other incentives offered, development work can be done in constituencies as per the wishes of the PTI lawmakers.

“We could carry out uplift projects worth around Rs100 million,” says the voice being attributed to Ali.

The voice is also heard remarking that it would be difficult for the MPs for hire to carry money if payments are made to them in cash, as it would attract attention.

Read more: PM Imran Khan takes stock of Gilani's shock victory in Senate elections

The same voice then seemingly makes a telephone call and starts the conversation by saying that some "friends" (the PTI lawmakers) are standing with him and want to talk.

“Tell all four of them that they will be taken care of,” the voice on the other end of the line responds. This voice is said to be of Sindh minister Nasir Shah.

The conversation revolves around haggling over the demands that have been made, with the PTI MPs promising their support and votes but insisting that what they have asked for is given to them.

However, in later interviews with the media, Nasir Shah distanced himself from the controversy and insisted that the voice in the audio clip was not his.