Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an ruling party’s appeal against the victory of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Senate election, ruling that it should not “improperly” drag the judiciary “into political affairs.
Gilani, who was running in the Senate election as a candidate for the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), defeated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh by 169 votes against Shaikh’s 164 votes on Wednesday, giving a landslide victory. Prime Minister Imran Khan who had personally campaigned for a Cabinet colleague.
Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections on Saturday.
The Supreme Court of Islamabad (IHC) has heard an application by PTI lawyer Ali Nawaz who said Gilani was elected on a vote-buying basis.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah after hearing the initial arguments listened to the applicant use the forum of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) where the case is already being heard.
The court ruled that “it is not appropriate to drag the judiciary into political affairs” and dismissed the application.
Pakistani opposition parties on Monday nominated Gilani as a candidate for the Senate presidential election, which is expected to take place later this week.
Gilani’s nomination came as the Pakistan Electoral Commission (ECP) on Tuesday refused to take action on allegations of vote-buying in the recent Senate election on the basis of video clips other than those involved in the nomination and nomination process.
The government’s allegations were based on a video of Gilani’s son Ali Haider talking to other PTI members telling them how the vote could be “disrupted”.
PTI, in its application, said that as seven votes were “spoiled” in the Senate election and the candidate had lost only five votes, it shows that PTI’s representatives in the video were bribed.
Refusing to take action on allegations of vote-rigging in the voting booths simply because of the video clip, the ECP has called on the state attorney to include all those involved in the video and said that if allegations of bribery were accepted, all wrongdoers should be prosecuted.
The IHC on Wednesday also rejected an application for the withdrawal of the son of the prime minister who is the provincial attorney.