Islamabad [Pakistan], March 3 (ANI): Members of the Pakistan Democratic Movement - the 11-party opposition alliance - on Wednesday celebrated former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's victory in the Senate polls, while the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has cried foul said it will challenge the results.
The PDM scored a major victory over PTI as Gilani won the general seat from Islamabad, defeating the ruling party's Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari took to Twitter to celebrate Gilani's win, saying: "Democracy is the best revenge. Jeya Bhutto!"
A few hours after polling ended, Bilawal alongside Gilani held a press conference in which both leaders hailed the latter's victory as "a win for democracy", reported Dawn.
The PPP chairman thanked the PDM leadership and said that Gilani's win was a win for all democratic forces in Pakistan. "This puppet government has lost from its own parliament and the people of Pakistan have won."
"My sincerest felicitations to Mr. Yousuf Raza Gilani on his glorious victory in the Senate elections," tweeted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) founder Nawaz Sharif.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz also tweeted her congratulations to Gilani and the PDM. She congratulated the Members of National Assembly (MNAs) of the PML-N for accepting PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif's stance and "refusing to bow down and sell out".
"Well done PML-N! The future is yours," said Maryam.
In another post, she claimed that "the fake mandate has been snatched back by the people's representatives".
"Their own people, despite the pressure on them, refused to vote for [...] (Prime Minister) Imran Khan," she said, adding that the premier now had no right to occupy the Prime Minister House. "Vote chor (thief), leave the chair," she added.
Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani also congratulated Bilawal on the "historical win" of Gilani and the PDM.
Meanwhile, members of the government criticised the results and said that they would be investigated.
Senator Faisal Javed termed the results as "horse trading at its peak". He said the result should be "investigated and justice must be served".
Addressing a press conference, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said the result of the election for the Islamabad seat was a "vindication of the stance that Prime Minister Imran Khan repeatedly talked about", Dawn reported.
"You know the character of those who have won," said the information minister.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill also reiterated that the party "will challenge this result".
The polling for 37 seats of Pakistan's Senate came to a close at 5 pm for a total of 78 candidates contesting from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad.
The polls were held after a long-drawn open ballot controversy that kept the ruling party and opposition in a war of words and a legal battle before the Supreme Court on Monday announced that the elections for the Upper House of the Parliament will be held through secret ballot, according to Article 226 of the Pakistan Constitution. (ANI)