The fallout from the Panama Papers has inspired outrage around the world, and now someone has found a way to make a political point through comedy. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, has been put up for sale on eBay.
Sharif has been implicated in the Panama Papers scandal after members of his family were found to be owners of offshore companies. While owning offshore companies is not technically illegal, they are commonly used to avoid paying national taxes.
eBay listing promises Nawaz Sharif for sale
For a prime minister to be implicated in a tax dodging scandal it is a huge deal. Nawaz Sharif is one of a huge number of important Pakistani figures that have been swept up in the scandal.
One prankster has decided that an eBay listing promising that Sharif is for sale would be the best way to express his disgust.
The poster has so far remained anonymous, but the advert reads: “Used Pakistani Prime Minister, No longer needed is for Sale. No box or instructions.”
It is strange to see the Pakistani prime minister on eBay as the company does not operate in Pakistan. “May not post to Pakistan”, says the notice posted on website.
Sharif finds himself under huge amounts of pressure due to the Panama Papers leaks and is currently in the United Kingdom for a medical checkup. British Prime Minister David Cameron has also landed in hot water as a result of the leaks.
British Prime Minister Cameron also under pressure
It was revealed that Cameron’s father placed his investments offshore so as to avoid paying UK taxes. Cameron has been forced to admit that he benefited financially from the tax dodging scheme.
The British PM has been under increasing pressure from fellow politicians. One opposition MP was ejected from the House of Commons this week after he called Cameron “Dodgy Dave.” The Speaker asked Dennis Skinner to retract the comment, but he refused to do so and was ejected.
Interestingly David Cameron was also listed for sale on eBay. Bidding reached $65,000 before the listing was removed from the site. In contrast Nawaz Sharif appears to be far less popular among online shoppers.
His bid hasn’t increased past the $100 starting price.
Politicians around the world embroiled in scandal
If you are in the market for an under-pressure, allegedly tax-dodging politician, then now is a great time to get online and start shopping.
While Sharif and Cameron might rue becoming the target of online pranksters, they should be grateful that they are still in office. Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was not so lucky.
The former prime minister of Iceland was forced to step down after huge protests calling for his resignation. As a result of the Panama Papers leak it was revealed that Gunnlaugsson and his wife had huge offshore holdings.
Investigations into Sharif and Cameron are ongoing, and it seems unlikely that either one will get off lightly. Even if they are not forced to resign, it is difficult to imagine that either politician will escape unscathed from the scandal.
At the very least ordinary taxpayers will remember that these politicians used dodgy schemes in order to avoid paying the very taxes that they impose on ordinary voters. Such behavior would surely not go down well at an election.
It looks as though humorous eBay listings are the last thing that the embattled pair need to worry about.