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Pakistan political parties demand probe into alleged Senate vote purchase

Provincial and federal lawmakers voted to elect 52 Senators in the Senate elections, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Several political parties in Pakistan, including the ruling PML-N, have called for an investigation into the alleged horse-trading in the crucial elections.

Last week, Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of ousted won 15 seats in and became the largest party in the upper house of Parliament, according to the provisional results.

Provincial and federal lawmakers voted to elect 52 Senators in the elections, according to the Election Commission of (ECP).

The election outcome has been marred by charges of horse-trading.

Sharif blamed those political parties that secured more seats than their representation in the provincial assemblies for "rigging the Senate elections" and demanded an investigation to ascertain if the change of loyalty was based on change of mind, financial gain or some other factors, Dawn News reported.

The former said the game of trading of votes must come to an end.

The same demand was made by Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman on the second day of his two-day visit to

Khan said according to his information, votes were purchased for up to Rs 40 million in the elections.

"Our own people also sold themselves," he admitted but did not mention names of those allegedly involved in the practice in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and assemblies.

He said his party had been asking the to replace the old secret ballot system with open voting for to help check corrupt practices, but the ECP did not accept the demand.

It was for this reason that the lawmakers had indulged themselves in trading of votes, he alleged, while asking the ECP, and what actions they had taken to check the horse-trading.

The demanded that Justice take notice of the horse-trading, explaining that those who had bribed the lawmakers were known but the legislators who had allegedly taken bribe to switch loyalty were not traceable.

Also the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), which suffered a major setback in the election, announced that it would challenge the in the ECP and courts accusing (PPP) and (PSP) of "harassing" MQM lawmakers and "selling" the mandate of

While addressing a press conference, Farooq Sattar, heading the PIB faction of the MQM-P, said the Senate elections lost credibility as they were not held impartially and transparently.

He alleged that the PPP harassed more than 15 legislators of his party in order to pressure them to change their loyalty. He accused PSP and his deputy of "selling" the mandate of

The election results for 12 Senate seats from Sindh have surprised many. Farogh Naseem, who supports the Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui-led faction of MQM, is the only candidate of the party to have emerged victorious for the upper house of the parliament.

Just a day ago, chief Senator Sirajul Haq, too, had demanded investigation into the allegation of horse-trading. He also appealed to the to take notice of the where parliamentarians allegedly cast votes for financial gains and other benefits.

First Published: Tue, March 06 2018. 16:10 IST