ISLAMABAD .: The selection for the country’s prime minister was anything but show of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, with the demand to form a parliamentary committee to probe into alleged rigging in the general elections.
After Speaker Asad Qaiser announced the victory as candidate for PM, Imran Khan kept smiling but did not know what was next in the bucket.
His maiden speech did come as a bitter pill, as members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) kept chanting slogans for more than an hour — including during the break of 15 minutes.
Imran won the election with a margin of 80 votes compared to his rival Shehbaz Sharif who took 96 votes as the PTI chief came up with 176 votes that is the number of members he and his allies has in the assembly.
One independent candidate from Sindh also voted for him while 24 votes came from his allies and 151 of his own party, excluding that of the speaker who does not vote in the election.
The 52 members of the Pakistan Peoples Party abstained including one member of Jamaat-e-Islami and two independent members of Pastun Tahafuz Movement — Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir.
Since the PML-N was left with no option after Pakistan Peoples Party backed off 24 hours before the election to the prime minister in the house, citing reservations over the candidacy of Shehbaz for the prime ministership, they knew what the outcome was.
They had different plans and they got what they discussed it in their parliamentary meetings before the start of the session in parliament. They followed the script they successfully executed during the election of speaker and deputy speaker on August 13.
As the speaker announced the results, the PML-N lawmakers came to the desk of Imran, who had then took the seat of the leader of the house but his smile vanished when they started chanting slogans of “vote ko izzat do, vote chor namanzoor” (give vote the respect, vote stealer unacceptable).
Since the PML-N lawmakers knew it was the only option they have to intimidate the PTI and spoil their chief’s victory; therefore, the party women parliamentarians elected on reserved seats and firebrand Rana Sanaullah, Shahnawaz Ranjha, Chaudhry Zulfiqar and others created havoc in the house.
The slogans in the first 45 minutes, which the PTI thought would subside soon, turned out a nightmare for the party and their initial smiles turned into a bothersome look.
Since the PML-N knew they were there to circumvent any attempt of Imran’s speech so they kept it rolling relentlessly. The PPP stayed away from all the hue and cry while the 14 MMA members stood on their seats but also kept away from sloganeering.
The visitor’s gallery were more supportive of the PTI and they kept assisting those MNAs of the PTI who were becoming a wall before their chief to prevent any untoward action from PML-N lawmakers.
There was no respite even after the 15 minutes break when the speaker invited the PM-elect to make the speech. The prime minister had to make his speech which Sharif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Tanveer and Khawaja Asif kept listening through the headphones with pensive looks.
Right after the 13 minutes speech of Imran, the speaker invited Shehbaz Sharif to speak from the PML-N side who was the runner-up candidate and probable candidate for leader of the opposition in the house.
Shehbaz, who seemed ready for the speech, stood and made a flamboyant speech but it was also inaudible as this time it was tit for tat for him and the PTI lawmakers started chanting daku (dacoit) slogans.
He said the world over newspapers and the media were raising charges of rigging in the general elections, adding, this was the worst election in the history in terms of rigging. “The authorities concerned must act against those responsible.”
He commented that the Result Transmission System (RTS) was forcefully shut down. He asked what kind of elections were these that the results got delayed for over 48 hours.
He alleged that about 1.6 million votes were rejected, stating ballot papers were found in sewers and streets across the country.