Dismayed Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser challenged Bilawal Bhutto over his comments earlier Monday alluding to discrepancies in legislator count on Prime Minister’s confidence vote session and said probe it in any way possible as the entire world bore witness to the counting, media reports claim.
“I ask Bilawal to satisfy his concerns however he deems necessary and find me one MNA who was absent in the session but whose vote was still counted,” Asad Qaiser responded to Bilawal’s comments on alleged anomalies in the count in confidence vote session in which Pakistan Peoples Party chairman expressed concerns on the transparency.
“The entire world watched the session and media thoroughly covered it.” Qaiser said he would never do anything that would stand him on the wrong side of history. “Will never violate the constitution no matter what happens.”
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday said a probe must take place into the “controversy” surrounding the vote of confidence held in the National Assembly a day earlier, which Opposition members boycotted, but have claimed that there “weren’t enough people present” for the 178 votes obtained.
Speaking to the media following a meeting with Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz, Bilawal claimed: “Imran Khan was neither voluntarily voted as the prime minister by the Members of the Assembly, nor was he voluntarily voted for in this vote of confidence.” He termed the move to seek a trust vote “a joke”.
“He ran a race alone and declared himself the winner,” the PPP chairman said, adding: “But even this was rigged.” “This allegation raised by a member of the opposition present in the Assembly, that the number of votes announced do not match the number of people in attendance, must be investigated,” said Bilawal.
Notably, hours after Prime Minister Imran Khan secured the vote of confidence from members of National Assembly, Opposition MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar claimed that the required number of lawmakers were not present in the lower house at the time of voting.
Reporters present inside the parliament counted a total of 181 members, this included three unelected members which were Babar Awan, Hafeez Sheikh and Shahzad Akbar – Minus these 3, the number comes to 178 – What MNA Dawar is saying is a political statement/stunt and NOTHING more https://t.co/oMkn9spmAQ
— Anas Mallick (@AnasMallick) March 6, 2021
The Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) in its factsheet said that the premier received 178 votes in his favour during the session. “164 (48%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 178 (52%) at adjournment of the sitting,” it said.
Fafen said that parliamentary leaders from BAP, GDA, AML-P, PML-Q, MQM-P and JWP as well as five minority lawmakers also attended the session.