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PTI’s plea seeking Yousuf Raza Gilani’s disqualification dismissed

ECP moves to register ‘corrupt practice’ case against Ali Gilani, PTI MPAs

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday acquitted Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani, dismissing PTI lawmakers’ petition filed for the disqualification of former Prime minister over “corrupt practices”.

However, the ECP ordered the district election commissioner Islamabad to start a criminal case under Sections 167 (corrupt practices) and 168 (bribery) of the Elections Act, 2017 against Gilani’s son Punjab Assembly lawmaker Ali Haider Gilani, as well as PTI MNAs Faheem Khan and Cap retd Jamil Ahmed Khan.

In its order, the electoral body stated that it had been “proved” that Ali, Faheem and Jamil had indulged in corrupt practices, adding the punishment under Sections 167 and 168 could be up to three years in jail or a fine of Rs100,000 or both.

During the hearing today, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja said that the facts of the case were not presented properly. Therefore, the electoral watchdog ruled that there was no direct evidence against Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani and he will remain in his post.

Earlier, PTI members Farrukh Habib, Maleeka Bukhari, Kanwal Shozab and Alia Hamza had filed disqualification petitions against Ali Haider Gilani, including a petition against his Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The petition was filed on the basis of a leaked audio clip, purportedly of Sindh Minister Nasir Hussain Shah bargaining with four PTI lawmakers for their votes in the Senate elections and a video of Ali in which he appears to be showing some PTI MNAs techniques on how to waste their votes.

“Ali kept bribing members of the National Assembly,” the petitioners had claimed. They also alleged that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, in her speeches, made promises of giving lawmakers PML-N tickets in the next general elections if they voted for Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Senate polls.

Yousuf defended his son, saying they were seeking votes from all MNAs as they formed the electoral college for the Senate elections. He said he had also contacted then-prime minister Imran Khan in this connection.

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