Imran Khan: Senate polls show deep-rooted corruption in Pakistani politics

Various Pakistani news channels broadcast a live address to the nation of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Associated Press office in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made a passionate appeal to fight corruption in politics and sought moral and political support from the people by addressing the nation on Thursday.

Accusing the candidate winning Wednesday’s senatorial elections in Islamabad of fighting his way to victory, Khan said he would seek a vote of confidence from parliament on Saturday.

“If I lose I will be happy to sit on the opposition benches,” he said.

Government-backed candidate for Senate seat in Islamabad Abdul Hafeez Sheikh lost to Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate and former prime minister of the 11-party opposition alliance Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday .

This is a setback for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and its allies and the Prime Minister has announced his confidence in the nation in the face of the latest political situation in the country.

Use of money in politics

“It is important that we talk about it [use of money in the Senate poll] and explain it, because the problems of our country can be understood through the type of elections that have taken place, ”the Prime Minister said. This is not a new phenomenon, but a phenomenon that has lasted for 30 to 40 years, he said. “Whoever becomes a senator and wants to become one, uses the money and who does he buy?” Members of Parliament. “

Corruption “protected” by ECP

The Prime Minister blasted the PDM for “making a mockery of democracy”. He also did not spare the Pakistan Election Commission and regretted that it (ECP) “protects those who make money by holding senatorial elections by secret ballot”.

The requirement of an open ballot was aimed at making the ballots transparent

Khan said he had started campaigning for an open ballot in the Senate elections to “end the threat of corruption”. The ruling party has also introduced a bill in this regard, he said.

“We kicked out the 20 members, but I saw that it wasn’t just me saying that. The two main parties which signed the Charter of Democracy – the PML-N and the PPP – had agreed that there should be an open ballot because money is exchanged during senatorial elections, ”he said. added, claiming that PML-N leaders also later issued similar statements.

No concessions for corrupt politicians

Khan reaffirmed his belief that he would not give any slack or concession to “corrupt” politicians from opposition parties who had made an alliance against him.

“We have not filed a complaint against Yousaf Raza Gilani,” noted the prime minister, referring to the former prime minister whom the opposition presented as their candidate for the 2021 senatorial elections.

“Their only objective was to put so much pressure on me that I surrendered and gave them an NRO (an ordinance that relieved opposition politicians in Musharraf’s day). First they tried to say the elections were rigged, then they tried to pressure me during the coronavirus and now they have done the same when the time came to pass the FATF bill. », Declared the Prime Minister.

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