Yousuf Raza Gillani to be elected as Chairman Senate?

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari promised on Wednesday to have Yousuf Raza Gillani elected as the Senate chairman.

Bilawal was addressing a press conference after Gillani defeated PTI’s Hafeez Shaikh in the election for a Senate seat from Islamabad.

“This is a historic victory of the Pakistan Democratic Movement,” the PPP chairman said. He thanked Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Nawaz Sharif and all PDM parties for the way they called out the government.

The PPP chairman called Gillani’s victory a “no-confidence in the IMF programme, PTI-IMF budget and the economic situation of the country”.

“It is the failure of the finance minister who is running our economy,” Bilawal said.

“Gillani was elected as the speaker of house and the prime minister and after today, God willing, he will be elected as the Senate chairman.”

The PPP chairman reiterated on Twitter that “democracy is the best revenge”.

Gillani, who was the PDM candidate, bagged 169 votes in the Senate election, according to unofficial results. His opponent and PTI nominee Hafeez Shaikh secured 164 votes.

The PTI will challenge the election result, according to PM’s aide Shahbaz Gill. At least seven votes were rejected and Shaikh lost by five votes, Gill said.

The Senate Elections results were quite disturbing for the PTI. According to the returning officer, who announced the results after counting ended in the National Assembly, six of the total 340 ballots cast in the National Assembly were rejected. Gillani obtained 169 votes, whereas Shaikh got 164. One vote was not cast. The MPs were required to vote for 37 vacant seats of the Senate with 11 senators already elected unopposed from Punjab due to withdrawals from opposing candidates.

Polling was held for 12 seats each of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 of Sindh and two of the federal capital. MPAs from the three provincial assemblies cast their vote for the candidates fielded from Balochistan, KP and Sindh, while MNAs voted for the representatives from the federal capital.

“PTI has unanimously decided that Prime Minister Imran Khan will take a vote of confidence from the National Assembly,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said while addressing a press conference along with Federal Ministers Shafqat Mehmood, Asad Umar, Shireen Mazari, Fawad Chaudhry, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Hammad Azhar and others.

He described the victory of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani as a “negation of democracy” as well as the endorsement of PM Imran Khan’s apprehensions of corrupt practices in the Senate elections.

Read more: PTI wins majority in Senate despite major setback in Islamabad,

The foreign minister said the way voting was done on the capital’s general seat, strengthened the PTI’s narrative about the use of money in the Senate elections. “We were apprehensive that the elections will be bought and the buyers of conscience will buy the votes using the name of democracy.”