Pakistan’s prime minister claims government senators already being approached to shift their support to opposition candidate
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday vowed to emerge victorious in the Senate chairman elections, despite the opposition’s numerical majority in the Upper House.
The Senate elections on March 3 resulted in the government, its allies, and five independent senators having a combined strength of 48. By contrast, the opposition has 51 senators in the Upper House of Parliament.
Chairing a meeting of spokespersons in Islamabad, Khan reportedly termed the upcoming election for leadership of the Upper House “one of the most critical” events of Pakistan today. He emphasized that the opposition’s Yousaf Raza Gilani would be defeated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government’s Sadiq Sanjrani, the incumbent chairman, at the polls on March 12.
According to sources, the prime minister also claimed that the opposition had already started contacting government senators to secure their support for Gilani. He alleged that this support was being secured through bribes. Despite claims to the contrary by several federal ministers, the prime minister also reportedly claimed that he was aware of the MNAs who had supported Gilani in the Senate polls. However, there was no information on whether the party would take action against them.
The PTI has maintained that Gilani should be disqualified, alleging that his son secured the election through bribes. A reference against Haider Gilani, who can be seen in a video “teaching” government lawmakers how to “waste” their vote, is currently pending before the Election Commission of Pakistan.