Senate election: PPP’s Yousaf Raza Gillani defeats Hafeez Sheikh

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In a major upset in the Senate election, Yousaf Raza Gilani, the joint candidate of opposition parties, has been elected senator from Islamabad, by defeating Abdul Hafeez Shaikh of the ruling party, according to unofficial results.

Yousaf Raza Gilani, a former prime minister who belongs to the PPP, enjoyed the support of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance cobbled together by a dozen opposition parties against the embattled government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Gilani-Shaikh duel carried a huge symbolic value as the PDM had said in the run-up to the Senate elections that a win for Gilani would mean a vote of no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

According to unofficial results, Yousaf Gilani bagged 169 votes, while his rival Hafeez Shaikh received 164 votes. Seven votes were rejected.   

“Just as initial response”, Shehbaz Gill, the prime minister’s aide on political affairs, said Gilani won by a slim margin of five votes, while seven votes were rejected.  “Now we will challenge this result,” he added.

Reacting on the victory of Gilani, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari took to Twitter, saying: “Democracy is the best revenge.”

Polling for Senate election was completed in the National Assembly along with three provincial assemblies – Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Polling was delayed in the K-P Assembly due to late arrival of lawmakers. It has been completed with the final vote cast by Shahram Khan Tarakai from the PTI.

Apart from Jamaat-e-Islami all other political parties participated in the upper house of parliament’s elections which ended without any untoward incident.

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