Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation through a televised address on Thursday evening to talk about the political situation in the country following Wednesday’s Senate elections.

Key points:

PDM bought votes to blackmail government with no-confidence vote

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shirked its responsibility

Will sit in Opposition benches if defeated in confidence motion

“Today I want to speak about the Senate elections to my people; it is essential to do so because the problems of our country are reflected in how these elections are conducted.

Six years ago we took part in the Senate elections in KPK and learned that Senate elections have been manipulated by money for the past 40 years. Whoever wants to become a Senator, puts in money to buy members of the parliament. Since then I have campaigned against this.

PPP and PML-N signed the Charter of Democracy that said there should be open ballots because they too recognised that votes are bought and sold. They even released statements supporting open ballots after the signing of the document. We went to the Supreme Court because these parties backed out from their commitments, even the esteemed judges knew votes are bought and wanted something to be done about it. A video came out as well from 2018 where Members of Parliament were seen taking money, the proof is there.

I ask you what was the reason for this, the opposition used to support open ballots, yet now they claim open ballots are “against democracy”. I ask were open ballots not against democracy before.

I told you they would band together to protect their corruption. Their plan was simple: to put enough pressure on me that I would throw my hands up and give them an NRO. They tried to play politics with COVID-19, they even tried to play politics with the legislation related to FATF. They tried to blackmail us; asking us to abolish NAB if we wanted the opposition’s support for FATF.

This was their plan all along, to used as much money as they can to defeat Hafeez Shiekh, and then use that to say Imran Khan has lost the confidence of its allies. Once they can claim that the government’s allies can be broken away from Imran Khan, they would launch a no-confidence motion.”

ECP shirked its constitutional duty

“Now I want to talk to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), you have the most important role in the country, it is your responsibility to ensure free and fair elections. Why did you present before the Supreme Court that open ballots cannot be held? Even when the court said that ballots can be secret but there must be some way of tracing votes, the ECP said they cannot do that as well. Couldn’t a simple bar code be added to 1500 ballots?

I want to know, who are the 15 -16 people from our country that sold out. There should be a way of finding that out.

The ECP was given the chance to fix the country’s elections; yet you have discredited and besmirched the democracy of the country.”

Confidence motion

“I am taking a confidence motion on Saturday. I am telling this to my own Senate members now, if you say you have no confidence in me say so, I will respect your opinion. However, you will do so openly, not say that you support me openly but accept bribes behind closed doors and change votes. Your conscience cannot be clear, Allah watches over everything.

Now I would like to address the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders. Whether I sit in the opposition or am outside the Parliament, I will not let you go. I will walk with the people, bring them out on the street. I do not care for power or the position, I only care.”

The full speech was shared by the Prime Minister’s office:


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