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Islamabad, 12 March 2021: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing a press conference at Zardari House Islamabad on 12 March said that the highest house of the federation, the Senate of Pakistan, was demeaned and undermined today as four spy cameras were found in the voting booth in the Chairman Senate elections. This was open effort to rig the election which was defeated today.

He said that the presiding officer who was the ally of the government was biased and his illegal action is in front of you all. Seven votes of the Chairman Senate election were cast in favor of Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani which were cast legally and constitutionally. These seven Senators were purposely disenfranchised and Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani also despite winning is not sitting on that seat. As per the Supreme Court and ECP’s opinions regarding the votes, they are considered valid if the intentions of the voters are obvious.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani has won the election and is the Chairman Senate of Pakistan. PDM will go against the tyrannical events that took place today and is proceeding with decisions based on consensus. He said that he has talked to Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman has talked to President Asif Ali Zardari and it has been decided that we will challenge this in the court. The Senate election has been stolen in front of the people of Pakistan. Despite these tactics, it has been proved in the bye elections, National Assembly elections and now in the Senate too that the people of Pakistan are not with the government. The presiding officer violated his own rules and gave such a decision in which the government candidate has been imposed on the Senate.

You cannot reject the vote in which the intentions of the voter are clear. This success of PDM is not only based on the election results but on how the system has been exposed. We hope that we will get justice from the High Court and its decision will be in our favor.

Responding to questions by the journalists, he said that when I gave vote in the general elections, this is how I voted. You can stamp anywhere, and the presiding officer rejected the votes only after realizing that they were in favor of Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. He therefore is biased, because he is anti PPP and is an ally of Imran Khan. Our parliamentary leaders and representatives also asked the Senate’s representatives regarding the voting process, which I can send you via WhatsApp if you want. In the poster printed in front of the podium in Urdu, the method was valid.

Chair PPP said that he believes that if there has been a conspiracy, it has been by the presiding officer and they have imposed their candidate despite their defeat. As far as our consensus based decision on approaching the court is considered, we have already decided. This is such a clear and evident open and shut case, that in my opinion we should approach the court and get this mistake rectified. Our struggle is for every institution to be neutral and work within its own domain. If you ask me now whether every institution is working in its own domain, the answer is no. Our struggle is for this to change, and that the decisions of the country are only made in the Parliament. We believe that you snatch space for neutrality. No one will hand you over neutrality on a plate, we are fighting for it. It is a result of our struggle that we made achievements, as evident by how the PTI was exposed after being defeated in the bye elections. The way the ECP is conducting itself, it has been doing so in a neutral manner since the bye elections; however our struggle is not only for the ECP to act in this way but all the institutions.

As far as the legal position is considered, any lawyer or legal expert can tell you this is a clear open and shut case. They rejected votes on illegal grounds. We briefed our members as per the briefing given to us by the Senate staff regarding the voting. I am very optimistic that the court will support its own rulings and the law of the Election Act and if it happens this way, it will be in favor of PDM and Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. When we are disappointed whether in the elections or in the courts, our continuous stance has been that we have never been given a level playing field. Despite knowing that the elections were rigged as well as the manner in which courts were conducted at the time, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto would still approach the courts. We realize that if we as democratic people do not accept the courts and the Parliament, then who will?

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that everyone was so disappointed in the election process that people were not ready to take part in the bye elections, but we insisted that no, we will fight and we will fight together and be successful. We defeated Imran Khan in the National Assembly in this scenario, and you know that in such a scenario you are not only challenging Imran Khan but also his facilitators.

The spy cameras that the government placed are also being imposed on us. Everyone knows how we were competing them on every forum and not only did we compete but won despite all the challenges. No movement can progress without hope and we gave hope to the people. We are not just protesting because this is injustice with Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, PPP or the PDM, we also do not want this to be repeated the next time. The vote of Senators should not be ridiculed and they should not be disenfranchised this way.

Chairman Bilawal said that he does not think that there should be a divide in PDM. This is not only a success for every PDM member but also for the people of Pakistan. Our election results prove that every PDM party supported our candidate despite the pressure. This is the testament to the unity of the PDM that despite all these obstacles, we defeated the prime minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly, and now we have won in the chairman Senate elections. The victory is not mine or Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani’s alone, this is the win of PDM and Pakistan.