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Imran Khan’s party denounce postponement of Senate polls in KPK province

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NewsDrum Desk
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Peshawar, Apr 3 (PTI) A day after Senate elections, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur on Wednesday asserted that he would not allow what he believed were the “unconstitutionally elected members” to take the oath in the provincial Assembly.

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Gandapur’s strong reaction came after the jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s party denounced the Pakistan election commission's decision to postpone the Senate polls in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province on Tuesday and termed it as a continuation of “mandate theft” and labelled the Chief Election Commissioner as the “central figure” in the “poll robbery” scheme.

Pakistan's ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other parties bagged 18 out of 19 seats in the Senate while an independent candidate was elected with their support to the upper house.

Polling was held on 12 seats from Sindh, five seats from Punjab and two seats from the Islamabad capital territory. However, elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province were postponed due to controversy over the oaths of members elected on reserved seats.

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Khan’s PTI party has alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) incorrectly gave reserved seats that were to be claimed by his party to the ruling coalition, thus disturbing the poll seats’ math that went against him.

The governor of KPK province Haji Ghulam Ali on Tuesday called the session of the house but the Speaker Babar Salim Swati did not summon the session and instead moved the court against the Governor over summoning the session for administering oaths to the women elected on reserved seats.

“Elections have been held for electing the country's president, Speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Minister of the provinces, and even the Senate in the absence of the members elected on reserved seats. Then, why are the Senate elections not being held in the KPK?” asked Gandapur at a press conference on Wednesday.

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“I am giving a clear message that for protecting the sanctity and honour of the Constitution, I will not allow the members elected on reserved seats to take oath. How could we give our reserved seats to members of other parties?” the senior PTI leader asserted.

In a statement, the PTI party spokesperson said the postponement of Senate elections for not administering the oath to members on reserved seats in the provincial assembly was “ridiculous.” The statement further accused the chief election commissioner of being the “central figure” in the “poll robbery” scheme, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper.

The statement added that ECP’s decision was a continuation of the same scheme under which people’s mandate was stolen “under state patronage” after general elections.

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Meanwhile, Gandapur, who is a key accused in the May 9 violence, called for a foolproof investigation into the riots and it should be ascertained who benefitted from it and who was at a loss. He also offered himself for a fair trial in the May 9 riots, which erupted after Imran Khan was arrested in a corruption case.

He reiterated fake cases have been made against the people who were not present in the May 9 protests across the country.

Khan’s PTI-backed independents won more than 90 seats in the February 8 polls despite it being the PML-N and the PPP that came together to form a ruling alliance. That also dictated the proportionate allotment of reserved seats to women, during which PTI has alleged that the establishment snatched away their share and distributed it amongst the ruling coalition. PTI AYZ NPK AKJ NPK NPK

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