Tuesday April 16, 2024

Senate election: ANP’s Shagufta Malik blames defeat on horse-trading

By Riffatullah
March 06, 2018

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP)'s losing candidate for the women reserved seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has blamed her defeat on the horse-trading in the recent Senate election.

Talking to The News on Monday, Shagufta Malik said she polled 32 votes in the Senate election that included 28 from her own party members and legislators of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI).

She said the extra four votes, which were polled to her in the second and third priority, were the result of her spirited campaign. "I approached every member during the campaign and was expecting a higher number of second priority votes," she recalled.

Shagufta Malik, who is a former member of the provincial assembly, alleged that horse-trading had created uncertainty during the election. She said most of the members didn't use the second priority ballot.

"Those who sold their votes were asked not to give the second priority vote to any candidate. This reduced my tally of votes and affected my chances of victory," she complained. The ANP candidate claimed that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) lawmaker Maulana Lutfur Rehman had assured her of his party members' second priority vote. "However, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) barred JUI-F from utilising the second priority vote as they had entered into an alliance for the Senate poll," she maintained.

Shagufta Malik said the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) members had also promised to give their second priority vote to her, but they too decided not to exercise that option after the PTI members' selling of their votes created confusion among the lawmakers. "The QWP feared that its nominees could lose if they polled the second and third priority vote," she pointed out.

Shagufta Malik claimed that she could have got more votes than PTI's Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, but the sale and purchase of votes affected her share of votes. "The PPP and JUI-F had a total of 22 votes but PPP's Rubina Khalid got 34 votes. She secured these votes in the first priority while in the second priority she bagged only one vote," Shagufta Malik explained.

Shagufta Malik said that Rubina Khalid got 12 votes of the PTI lawmakers "that were sold openly." "If you were there on the polling day, you would have noticed the level of satisfaction of Rubina Khalid. It is an open secret that one vote for the general seat was sold for Rs30 million while one vote for the women reserved seat was priced at Rs5 million and this was called a package," the ANP candidate alleged.

Shagufta Malik said that she was only two votes behind Rubina Khalid despite the fact that PPP paid Rs5 million for her vote. Expressing satisfaction with her performance in the Senate election, she thanked members of the coalition partners who voted for her. She appreciated her party's parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak for making tireless efforts for her success. Shagufta Malik disclosed that she had received greetings for giving a tough time to the "briefcase-holder."