Observer Report Islamabad/ Karachi/ Peshawar, Quetta
In a blow to the government, the joint opposition candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani won the hotly contested general seat from Islamabad, beating PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, according to unofficial and unverified results.
Gilani won 169 votes, while Shaikh bagged 164 votes. Seven votes cast for the general seat from Islamabad were rejected.
After Gilani was declared the winner, he was seen shaking hands and walking on the Senate floor with Shaikh.
“I would like to thank the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement),” said Gilani at a press conference in the evening alongside PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. “This win is a win for democracy.”
Meanwhile, the women seat from the capital went to PTI’s Fozia Arshad, who defeated PML-N’s Farzana Kausar. The first Senate hopeful to be declared a winner on a general seat was independent candidate Abdul Qadir from Balochistan.
Following candidates are among the winners in the country’s provincial capitals, as per unofficial and unverified results: Sindh Palwasha Khan — PPP (Women), Saleem Mandviwalla — PPP (General), Sherry Rehman — PPP (General), Farook Naek — PPP (Technocrats), Saifullah Abro — PTI (Technocrats), Khalida Ateeb — MQM-P (Women), Jam Mahtab Dahar — PPP (General),Taj Haider — PPP (General), Faisal Vawda — PTI (General), Faisal Subzwari — MQM-P (General), Shahadat Awan — PPP (General)
Sania Nishtar — PTI (Women), Falak Naz — PTI (Women), Dost Muhammad Khan — PTI (Technocrats), Hamayun Mohmand — PTI (Technocrats), Gurdeep Singh — PTI (Minorities),
Shibli Faraz — PTI (General), Mohsin Aziz — PTI (General), Liaquat Khan Tarakai — PTI (General),
Faisal Saleem Rehman — PTI (General),
Zeeshan Khanzada — PTI (General), Hidayatullah Khan — ANP (General), Attaur Rehman — JUI-F (General)
Sarfaraz Bugti — BAP (General), Manzoor Ahmed — BAP (General),
Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai — BAP (General), Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri — JUI-F (General), Muhammad Qasim — BNP (General),AAbdul Qadir — Independent (General), Umer Farooq — ANP (General),
Saeed Ahmed Hashmi — BAP (Technocrats), Kamran Murtaza — JUI-F (Technocrats), Naseema Ehsan — Indepdendent (Women), and Samina Mumtaz — BAP (Women) However, in Punjab, there were 11 seats but all the senators have been elected unopposed.
Voting took place through secret ballots after a long-drawn open ballot controversy kept the ruling and opposition parties engaged in a war of words as well as a legal battle before the much-awaited Supreme Court decision.
The Gilani-Sheikh duel carried a huge symbolic value as the PDM had said in the run-up to the Senate elections that Gilani’s victory would mean a vote of no-confidence against prime minister Imran Khan.
According to an unofficial tally, out of the total 341 votes, 340 were polled. “Just as initial response”, Shehbaz Gill, the prime minister’s aide on political affairs, said unverified results shows a slim margin of five votes for Gilani, while seven votes were rejected. “We will challenge this result,” he added.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan accused the opposition of resorting to horse-trading in the elections. “Congratulations Fauzia Arshad of PTI for winning the women seat from Islamabad 174 vs 161 [votes].
This also tells there was a clear horse trading on the men’s seat,” he tweeted. This also tells there was a clear horse trading on the men’s seat.
Former Sindh Governor and PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair said the victory of Yousaf Raza Gilani is the first step towards sending Prime Minister Imran Khan packing.
Zubair said that the situation was not favourable and all forces were against us but we won. “Imran Khan talks about democracy… if he has a bit of self-respect left then he should resign and go home [now],” he added.
He said that it was a big upset since all forces were behind the government’s candidate. “Now we will see whether Hafeez Shaikh lives in Pakistan or not.
You see him leaving in next few days,” he claimed. The former governor said that PM Imran was imposed upon the nation after rigging in 2018 general elections but his days are numbered after today’s results.