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Video showing horse-trading during Senate elections surfaces

ISLAMABAD: A video has surfaced which exposed the horse-trading during Senate elections in 2018 by some party lawmakers who could be seen as counting bundles of currencies and hiding it inside the bag, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The video obtained by ARY News shows how the loyalty of 20 lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was changed after horse-trading during Senate elections in 2018. The lawmakers had been ousted from the political party by the central leadership after holding a thorough investigation.

It exposed that PTI lawmakers had been made hefty payments in 2018 during Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) polls. The lawmakers can be seen counting banknotes and putting it inside a bag.

Sources told ARY News that the vote-trading had been carried out from February 20 to March 2, 2018.

In 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed aims to hold Senate elections through the open ballot in 2021 in order to eliminate the menace of vote-trading in the country.

The federal government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had prepared an ordinance to pave way for holding the Upper House polls via open vote besides moving to the Supreme Court (SC) for the determination of legalities of the law.

On the other hand, the major opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) have strongly opposed the legislation to hold Senate polls by open vote.

In a statement, PM Imran Khan said that he was fully aware of the menace of horse-trading in Senate polls continued for the last three decades. He said that 20 members of provincial assembly (MPAs) had been ousted from PTI in 2018 over their involvement in vote trading.

The premier revealed that the PTI MPAs had traded their vote worth Rs50 million each during the polls in 2018. He added that bidding process is started once again ahead of Senate polls this year and he was also aware of the persons behind it.

Read: Federal cabinet greenlights ordinance for Senate polls through open vote

On February 6, President Dr Arif Alvi had signed Elections (Amendment) ordinance 2021 that will pave way for the organisation of Senate elections through the open ballot.

According to the Ordinance, a copy of which available with ARY News, changes have been brought to Sections 81, 122 and 185 of the Constitution. The ordinance will come into force “at once” and “extended to the whole of Pakistan.”

It may be noted here that the presidential reference is also being heard by the Supreme Court (SC) pertains to the organisation of Senate polls through an open vote.

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