KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur demands CEC’s resignation in fiery victory speech

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Ali Amin Gandapur

PESHAWAR: Soon after being elected as the new Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, Ali Amin Gandapur, Friday delivered a fiery victory speech, demanding the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja to resign alleging his role in the stealing of his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) mandate in the February 8 general elections.

Gandapur, a PTI leader who contested the polls as an independent candidate from KP, was elected as the province’s new chief minister after voting concluded in the KP Assembly. Gandapur defeated Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Dr Ibadullah Khan after securing 90 votes compared to the latter’s 16.

Addressing KP lawmakers in his speech, Gandapur promised to live up to the expectations of the PTI founder.

He then spoke about his party leaders, saying that the injustice done to the PTI leader was never even witnessed under any fascism.

“Our leader fought for the nation for 27 years and he rightly used to say that we are not free but slaves and we require real freedom,” he lamented, demanding a free and fair trial for Imran Khan and his release from prison.

He also said that the party doesn’t want any revenge, adding that they want a system that no one can abuse in this country.

“The election symbol was taken from us and we are not even allowed to raise our voice for the people of Kashmir,” he said, warning that they know how to snatch their rights.

“It is the responsibility of the state to give us our right,” he added.

The KP CM then talked about the February 8 elections, saying that the authorities concerned should restore their mandate.

“Today the whole nation got to know who the selected one is. These selected come to rule again and again to steal people’s money,” he added.

CM Gandapur then said that 80% of the papers of PTI leaders were rejected which were later restored by the courts.

He demanded to quash the first information reports (FIR) against the female candidates of PTI, asking Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa to form a judicial commission on the May 9 incident.

The CM also promised that he would not do corruption and would not let anyone else do it.

Talking about the economic situation of KP, Gandapur said that he will focus on increasing the revenue of the province. He added that they will not burden the poor anymore.

“We will give property, right to inheritance, free legal assistance to women,” he promised, adding that they will invest in trade and business development to create employment.

The CM also said that the people will get a health card from the first day of Ramadan, adding that they will form a commission for overseas Pakistanis.

Gandapur’s nomination
PTI founder Imran Khan had nominated Gandapur as his party’s candidate for KP’s leader of the house. Considering the numbers it is highly likely that he would clinch the slot.

Gandapur had the support of Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) members while Dr Ibadullah has the support of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Parliamentarians (PTI-P).

The former federal minister decided to contest the top provincial post in an independent capacity after refusing to join the SIC — the party which was joined by PTI-backed independent winners to claim their seats.

Gandapur served as the former federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan during the PTI government at the Centre from October 2018 to April 2022.

Previously, he was a member of the KP Assembly from 2013 to 2018 and served as provincial minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for revenue

The CM-designate did his BA honours from the Gomal University in Dera Ismail Khan.

Meanwhile, his opponent, Ibadullah Khan, was a member of the National Assembly from August 2018 till August 2023. He was the chairman of the Standing Committee of Communications in the NA from April 2019 till August 2023.

The maiden session of the KP Assembly saw the oath-taking of the newly-elected lawmakers on Wednesday.

A day after the oath taking, the provincial legislature elected PTI-backed Babar Saleem Swati and Suriya Bibi as speaker and deputy speaker. Swati bagged 89 votes while Suriya received 87 ballots to win the coveted slots.