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Will sit in opposition if fail to get vote of confidence from Parliament, says PM Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan raised questions over the performance of the Election Commission of Commission (ECP) for not taking action against individuals “buying” votes for their candidates in recently held Senate polls 2021, ARY News reported on Thursday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said this while addressing the nation, a day after he had decided to take a vote of confidence following the ruling party suffered a setback when its candidate Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost a Senate seat from Islamabad to a joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.

‘ECP damaged democracy’

Criticizing the secret balloting, PM Imran accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of protecting those who made money during the recent Senate elections. “The secret ballot system in Senate polls has damaged the democracy,” said the prime minister in his address to the nation.

PM Imran announced that he will take a vote of confidence from Parliament on Saturday, adding that he will sit in opposition if failed to get a vote of confidence from the lower house.

“This was the reason I was in favor of conducting Senate polls through the open ballot”

The premier questioned that why ECP has not taken notice of videos that aired on different news channels showing various political leaders distributing money to lawmakers in order to but their votes for Senate elections.

“According to some reports, our 15 to 16 lawmakers had sold out their votes, we will take action against them after identifying these MNAs”, added the prime minister.

‘Will not come under PDM’s pressure’

Taking nation into confidence regarding the recently held Senate polls 2021, the prime minister said that he came to knew about horse-trading and the use of money in Senate polls first some six years ago when his party took part in upper house elections.

The prime minister said that he had dispelled his 20 lawmakers over horse-trading during the Senate elections 2018.

“This was the reason I was in favor of conducting Senate polls through the open ballot and all these corrupt parties [Pakistan Democratic Movement] became united over presidential ordinance seeking holding of Senate polls through open ballot”.

“ECP’s secret ballot system has damaged the democracy”

“What kind of joke is that the Senator gets elect to the upper house by giving bribery or using money,” he said.

Read More: PM likely to take vote of confidence on Saturday

The premier went on to say that opposition parties’ only aim was to bring a no-confidence motion against PM by defeating government-backed candidate Hafeez Shaikh from Islamabad, adding that they [opposition] only want to create pressure on the prime minister.

“They [opposition] bought our lawmakers by using money just to defeat Hafeez Sheikh,” he added.

PM vows to continue struggle for supremacy of law and justice

He said that despite all the maneuverings of opposition, PTI has become the largest party in the Upper House of parliament. He added that the two bigger parties, naming PPP and PML-N, were in favor of a closed ballot so that they could buy the loyalties of members of parliament.

PM said ECP could have employed latest technology in order to know who the turncoats in Senate elections were.

PM reiterated that he will not leave corrupt political leaders and won’t give NRO to them until his last breath. “I will continue my struggle for the supremacy of law and justice irrespective of remaining in power or sitting on the opposition benches.”

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz confirmed today that the special session of the National Assembly has been summoned on Saturday, in which Prime Minister Imran Khan will take a vote of confidence after the government-backed Senate candidate Hafeez Sheikh lost the Senate polls on Wednesday.

Sources privy to the development said that PM Khan has directed party MNAs to stay in Islamabad until the session of NA summoned for vote confidence on Saturday.

Furthermore, he added that PM Imran Khan has nominated Sadiq Sanjrani as the candidate for Senate Chairmanship by the government.

Watch PM Imran’s complete address to the nation here

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