Senior leader claims election won by ruling coalition’s candidates was ‘stolen’
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Sunday formed a four-member committee of legal experts to draft a petition contesting last week’s rejection of seven votes in the election for the Senate chairman.
Comprising senators Farooq Naek and Raza Rabbani, as well as Sardar Latif Khan Khosa and Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, the team is expected to file a petition in the Islamabad High Court later this week. The opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement had earlier vowed to contest the votes’ rejection, stressing that the intent of the vote was clear, as the rejected ballots all had the names of the candidate clearly stamped.
On Sunday, PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi claimed before media that joint opposition candidate Yousaf Raza Gilani’s victory in the Senate chairman polls had been “stolen.” Accusing Presiding Officer Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah of “committing a crime,” he claimed the decision to declare the votes invalid was against the rules.
The opposition has also warned that the closure of Parliament—allegedly due to a surge in coronavirus cases—could be a ruse to manipulate CCTV footage on who had planted spy cameras in the polling booth for the Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections. “We have demanded the record and footage of the CCTV cameras today and they announced the closure of National Assembly Secretariat on the pretext of COVID-19,” said Kundi. “We fear that they want to remove the record and footage of CCTV cameras and we fear they could use all the tactics to waste the record,” he added.
To a question, the PPP leader claimed the spy camera issue was a massive scandal that needed to be investigated. To another question, he said the PDM would consider forming a committee to probe why the opposition’s candidate for the Senate deputy chairman could not secure sufficient votes to win the post—despite no votes being rejected.
He also reiterated hints that the opposition could bring a no-confidence motion against the governments at either the center or in Punjab, adding that the PDM would decide when to resign from assemblies if it were necessary.