Election Commission dismisses PTI pleas seeking Makhdoom Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s disqualification
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers’ petitions to disqualify former prime minister Senator Makhdoom Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani over “corrupt practices”, saying he had no link to the case.
However, the ECP ordered the district election commissioner Islamabad to start a criminal case under Sections 167 (corrupt practices) and 168 (bribery) of the Elections Act, 2017 against Gilani’s son Punjab Assembly lawmaker Ali Haider Gilani, as well as PTI MNAs Faheem Khan and Captain (retired) Jamil Ahmed Khan.
In its order, the Election Commission stated that it had been “proved” that Ali, Faheem and Jamil had indulged in corrupt practices, adding the punishment under Sections 167 and 168 could be up to three years in jail or a fine of Rs100,000 or both.
While reading out the reserved verdict on Friday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Sikandar Sultan Raja said the facts of the case were not presented properly. He noted that 20 hearings had been conducted and applications for adjournment were filed 12 times.
Following the Senate elections on March 3 last year, PTI lawmakers Farrukh Habib, Maleeka Ali Bokhari, Kanwal Shauzab and Alia Hamza Malik had filed a petition in the ECP, asking it to not issue the notification for Gilani’s victory.
However, the ECP had rejected the plea to stop the issuance of the notification.
The petitions were filed on the basis of a leaked audio clip, purportedly of Sindh Minister Nasir Hussain Shah bargaining with four PTI lawmakers for their votes in the Senate elections and a video of Ali in which he appears to be showing some PTI MNAs techniques on how to waste their votes.
“Ali kept bribing members of the National Assembly,” the petitioners had claimed. They also alleged that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif, in her speeches, made promises of giving lawmakers PML-N tickets in the next general elections if they voted for Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Senate polls.
The PPP senator, in a shocking development, defeated the PTI candidate Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, triggering a debate in political circles about the cracks in the then ruling coalition which had a majority in the National Assembly.
Later, the then prime minister Imran Khan also took a vote of confidence from the assembly to show that he still enjoys the support of the majority.