PTI to stay away from Senate chairman election: Imran

ISLAMABAD - Looking satisfied and happy after winning all expected Senate seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday announced his party would not vote for the candidates of any of the two major parties for the slot of the chairman and deputy chairman of the upper house.
“We will neither vote for PPPP nor PML-N candidates in the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman,” Khan said, while addressing a press conference at his Bani Gala residence after the party’ core committee meeting.
However, senior party leaders of PTI, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said this could be Khan’ personal decision as the core committee had not made any such decision. “We will make a strategy for the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chair and seek endorsement from the core committee,” a PTI leader said.
Khan highly criticised the election process of the Senate, but, without demanding any probe, he said PTI had entered the Senate to prepare the party’s technocrats for ministerial posts in the next government.
Khan also appreciated PTI MPAs from Khyber Pakhtunkhaw and claimed they voted for the party candidates, rejecting offers of millions of rupees. “Attempts were made by my opponents to muster their support till late Thursday night, but they rejected such officers,” Imran said, adding he was going to host a treat in the honour of PTI MPAs from KP.
On one hand, appreciating his MPAs for rejecting horse trading, Khan claimed malpractices were committed in the other three provinces. “In the all parties’ conference, Senator Hasil Bazenjo of National Party admitted that Rs 400 million were being offered for a general seat in the Senate elections and Rs 200 million for technocrats and women seat in Balochistan,” he revealed. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari knew about this. “How were PPP’s two candidates contesting election from KP where it has only five seats? How Khanzada became a senator from there?” he said. He also questioned how Afzal Chan of PPP got eight extra votes in the Punjab and how a PML-N candidate lost from Balochistan. “Millions of rupees were spent on horse trading in this election while the leaders of all these parties knew about it,” he said.
Khan expressed his apprehensions that the government was not serious in bringing the 22nd Constitutional Amendment to stop horse-trading in the Senate elections. “They should introduce the constitutional amendment in the Parliament so that the masses could know which parties are not supporting it,” he said and accused JUI-F of making money in the name of religion. He also criticised issuance of an ordinance at midnight to change the voting pattern of Fata elections. Khan said that parties’ leadership and MPs separately minted money in the Senate elections and added money would now work in the Senate chairman election.
The PTI chairman announced they had formed a committee comprising the party lawyers and it would start a campaign for direct elections of the Senate.
The PTI chief repeated his demanded for the formation of a judicial commission and said the decision of Nadra would prove that the NA speaker had come through rigging. He linked the party’s return to the lower house with the formation of the judicial commission to probe rigging in the general elections.
KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, on the occasion, said a family of Peshawar for the first time could not win the Senate election though a known property tycoon had been trying to purchase legislators. In the history of the Senate elections, two brothers and their father could not win the upper house polls this time, he said.
Earlier, the PTI core committee appreciated the MPAs of Khyber Pakhtunkhaw for their role in the Senate elections.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt