Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the Senate chairman election on Monday, urging it to suspend the election in the light of rigging allegations.

In a petition filed in the high court, Gillani, who had lost the election to incumbent Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, urged the court to suspend the election over “rigging”.

According to Gillani, seven rejected votes that were polled to Gillani must also be accepted and he should be declared the chairman of the Senate. The rejection of these votes must be declared null and void as their rejection was illegal, the petition read.

The federal government, Sadiq Sanjarani, Senate Secretariat and others were made parties in the petition.

In the election held on March 3, Sanjrani retained his office of chairman by defeating Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate Yousaf Raza Gillani 48-43. Gillani’s seven votes were rejected.

Seven votes cast for the opposition candidate were rejected as the stamp was not placed at the designated space, but was placed on Gilani’s name instead. The opposition contested the rejection of the votes. In his ruling, the presiding officer ruled that since the instructions on the ballot paper were clear, the seven votes stood rejected.

Meanwhile, Gillani is facing a case in the Election Commission of Pakistan over his victory in the Senate election. Gillani managed to defeat government-backed candidate Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on the Islamabad Senate seat despite government’s majority in the National Assembly.


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