pakistan
Friday Mar 12 2021
By
Web Desk

PDM to challenge rejection of seven votes cast in favour of Senate chairman candidate Yousaf Raza Gillani

By
Web Desk
Opposition leaders address a joint press conference outside Parliament House, on March 12, 2021. — Twitter
  • Opposition leaders announce they will approach the court to challenge the decision to reject seven votes in favour of Yousaf Raza Gillani.
  • Raja Pervez Ashraf says a directive was issued to stamp the vote inside the space allotted for a candidate's name — which is what the seven voters did.
  • "We will challenge the rejection of votes in court and expect it to rectify this decision," says Ahsan Iqbal.


Opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement has announced it will challenge in court the rejection of seven votes cast in favour of their candidate Yousaf Raza Gillani, who lost the Senate chairman election to Sadiq Sanjrani by six votes.

Opposition leaders held a joint press conference outside Parliament House in which Raja Pervez Ashraf said that the manner in which Gillani was defeated despite the opposition's majority in the upper house of parliament is "reprehensible". He also questioned how it came to be that six hidden cameras had been installed in the House.

He said that a directive was issued to stamp the vote inside the space allotted for a candidate's name. "Seven members stamped their vote inside the space allotted for Gillani, on his name," he said.

Ashraf said that the opposition hopes that Gillani will emerge victorious in court.

He said that the government "used every tactic to steal the election" and the chairman has been appointed after the opposition's majority having been denied to them.

"If Sanjarani was a lover of democracy, he would have resigned himself," he said.

PML-N General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal claimed that PDM "succeeded today".

"We got 49 votes but Yousaf Raza Gilani was defeated after seven votes were rejected," he said.

Iqbal also read out the Supreme Court's earlier rulings on the matter during the press conference and said that the court ruled that the voter's intention has to be seen.

"Stamping the name box means that the voter has the right intent and [aims to vote for that candidate]," he said.

He said that there were dozens of decisions by the Supreme Court and the High Court and rulings of the Election Commission that the ballot was valid even if the vote was stamped above the name. "Rules clearly state that the vote must simply be stamped inside the candidate's box," he said, adding: "The voter that stamped the name is not wrong to do so."

The PML-N leader said that all seven of the votes were stamped within the box of the candidate. "We will challenge the rejection of votes in court and expect it to rectify this decision," he said.

The government candidate for the chairmanship of the Senate Sadiq Sanjrani got 48 votes, whereas Yousaf Raza Gillani got 42 votes after which Sanjrani was elected as the Senate Chairman.

Seven voters stamped their vote on top of Gillani's name which resulted in the ejection of these votes. One vote was rejected because both candidates' names were stamped.