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Pakistan

Web Desk
March 2, 2021

Govt says Yousuf Raza Gilani must not be allowed run for Senate election after son's 'admission'

Web Desk
Tue, Mar 02, 2021
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry addressing in a media briefing from outside the ECP office, on March 2, 2021. — Geo News

The government has cast aspersions over Opposition candidate Yousuf Razai Gilani's candidacy for the Senate election, after his son was accused of providing instructions to a lawmaker in a video regarding how to "waste the ballot", and will file a reference against him to prevent him from contesting.

The viral video, Ali Haider Gilani has said, is rightly attributed to him, however he has rejected accusations that he is buying or selling votes.

The video's subjects are unclear, but the conversation between the lawmakers has what has caused an uproar among PTI. The party has shared the video on its official account.

In view of the video's contents, the government has decided to file a reference with the Election Commission of Pakistan demanding that Opposition candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani be disqualified and prevented from running for Senate.

"We were here to file a reference but the ECP was closed for the day. We will submit [the reference] in the morning," Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said in a media briefing from outside the ECP office.

"I hope the Chief Election Commissioner will take notice of the video. This is why we were saying the Supreme Court decision gives the ECP the chance to play its role in making Senate elections transparent in Pakistan," said the minister.

"The SC gave a clear order to the ECP to make use of technology to eradicate horse-trading in Senate polls. It is highly unfortunate the Election Commission decided not to change the method this time," he added.

Fawad Chaudhry said the video "proves the ECP's point of view wrong".

"It can't be that rigging, corruption, horse-trading and throwing money around be allowed this time but we will stop it the next time. This was a very weak argument and the video proves it," he said.

The science minister went on to claim that the government's candidate Abdul Hafeez Sheikh is "ahead in votes" this time. "Gilani is no where when it comes to votes. Hafeez Sheikh is far ahead," he said.

He said the government's efforts, however, do not stem from a consideration for votes. "This is about the implementation of law. And for this, it falls to the ECP to fulfil its responsibilities outlined under Articles 218 and 220 (of the Constitution)," he said.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, after Ali Haider Gilani's "admission", must be prevented from running from elections, Chaudhry said.

ECP says they are open

Later, the Election Commission, in a statement, refuted Chaudhry's remarks that no officer was present within the premises.

The ECP spokesperson said that the Commission's R and I Branch is open and the relevant officers on duty.

"The Election Commission has established a control room and the monitoring and control room remains operational 24 hours a day," said the statement.