PM Imran says ECP damaged democracy by holding Senate polls thru secret balloting

61

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday lashed out at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for failing to ensure transparency in the recent Senate elections where in his party lost a key Islamabad seat to the opposition’s alliance in a major setback.

Addressing the nation a day after Senate polls were held, the premier said that ECP’s support for holding election through secret ballot damaged the democracy in the country.

He went on to say that the Commission had protected those elements who made money by holding elections through a secret ballot.

The ruling PTI is in anger after its candidate for the Islamabad seat, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, was defeated by Yousaf Raza Gillani with a lead of only five votes cast by members of the National Assembly where Imran Khan-led party with the assistance of ally parties enjoys majority.

The premier said that his government was committed to curbing the secret balloting practice to end corruption. Listing the efforts, he said that his party went to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for this purpose and the Apex Court directed ECP to use all modern technology to ensure transparency in the elections.

He said that the Commission could have employed the latest technology in order to know who the turncoats in Senate elections were.

Lashing out at the opposition, he said that he will not give NRO to corrupt elements despite their blackmailing.

He said the opposition wants to pressurise the government in order to get relief from corruption cases out of which mostly instituted against them by the previous governments.

Khan said he will take the vote of confidence from the National Assembly on Saturday in an open ballot, which should be the standard practice.

“I am not afraid of losing power as I have no monetary interests,” he said, adding that all his personal expenses are bear by him and he is not a burden on the national kitty.

He vowed to continue the struggle for the supremacy of law and justice whether he remains in power or not.

He said the money was used in order to win the seat for PDM leader Yousaf Raza Gillani. He said despite all the maneuverings of opposition, PTI has become the largest party in the Upper House of parliament due to a number of seats it won, according to Radio Pakistan.

He said the two bigger parties, naming PPP and PML-N, were supporting secret ballot so that they could buy the votes of MPs.