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Hamza Shehbaz retains Punjab CM’s post

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz has been re-elected as the chief minister (CM) of Punjab after Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly rejected the votes of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) last night.

As per details, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari – who chaired the session – ruled that the votes of PML-Q lawmakers will not be counted in the election of Punjab chief minister in the light of party head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s letter.

Pervaiz Elahi – joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q – received 186 votes, while Hamza Shehbaz got 179 votes. However. 10 votes of PML-Q were cancelled by Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, hence taking the figure to 176.

Before announcing the result, Mazari read Hussain’s letter out loud. “As party head of Pakistan Muslim League, I have issued directions to all my provincial members to cast their votes in favour of Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz Sharif,” Mazari quoted Hussain as saying.

“As per this letter, according to the ruling of the Supreme Court, all the 10 votes cast by PML-Q leaders have been rejected,” Mazari ruled.

Hafiz Ammar Yasir, Shuja Nawaz, Muhammad Abdullah Warraich, Parvez Elahi, Muhammad Rizwan, Sajjad Sajid Ahmed Khan, Ehsanullah Chaudhry, Muhammad Afzal, Bismah Chaudhry, and Khadija Umar were the 10 members whose votes were not counted.

Meanwhile, PTI Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Raja Basharat has countered the ruling of PA Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, saying that the law states that the parliamentary party could issue instructions to party members.

He pointed out that the party chief was not authorized to give such instructions if the parliamentary party had decided to vote a certain candidate. He also read the order of the Supreme Court. “The head of the parliamentary party is Parvez Elahi,” he contended.

However, Mazari said that the matter had been clarified by the Supreme Court, subsequently proroguing the session.

Earlier, Pervaiz Elahi among all Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has voted to elect the new Punjab chief minister in the provincial assembly session.

According to reports, all 10 lawmakers of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid have cast their votes for Pervaiz Elahi – the joint candidate of PML-Q and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) leader and Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Moonis Elahi clarified about the status of his political party in today’s Chief Minister (CM) Punjab election.

Moonis Elahi said in a Twitter message, “Yesterday, PML parliamentary party chaired by parliamentary party leader Sajid Bhatti in the Punjab Assembly held its meeting and it was decided unanimously that Pervaiz Elahi is the Chief Minister (CM) candidate.”

He said that PML-Q wants chief ministership through Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan instead of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and its allies.

He said that he told Shujaat that he could not stop the PML-Q from getting the chief Ministership.

Earlier, in major political development minutes before the Chief Minister (CM) Punjab election today, Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujat Hussain refused to vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed candidate Pervaiz Elahi.

As per a local media channel,  Chaudhry Shujat Hussain excused himself from voting for Pervaiz Elahi, the joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q.

Meanwhile, the political secretary of Hamza Shahbaz, Kabir Taj, and PTI lawmakers came to blows as the PML-N leader arrived in the assembly.

The fight erupted as the assembly staff stopped Taj from going inside the assembly hall and PTI leaders backed it.

Both parties hurled threats to each other. However, other staffers intervened and parted them.

While, PTI Member of Punjab Assembly (MPA) Saira Raza on Friday claimed to have received ‘threatening messages’ from abroad on her official number.

According to details, PTI MPA Saira Raza has claimed to have received ‘indecent and threatening messages’ on her official number from a number registered in a foreign country.

Saira Raza has conveyed the matter to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership and fellow lawmakers and asked the authorities to take relevant action.

It is pertinent to mention here that two PTI MPAs claimed to have received threatening calls forcing to change their loyalties before the election of the Punjab chief minister.

Earlier, the session began at 4 pm in Lahore. The session was held under the chairpersonship of Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, who has sought strict security arrangements for today’s political activity.

By-elections and party positions

The by-elections held were held five days ago and turned the tide of the political situation in Punjab. PTI’s 178 while Q-League’s 10-member alliance looks invincible with 188 votes.

On the other hand, the PML-N, which won only 4 seats in the by-elections, has 168 members, which reduced the support required for the election of the Chief Minister. Even with 7 votes of the People’s Party, 3 votes of Azad, and 1 vote of the Rah-e-Haq Party, the position is weak.

The total number of members of the government alliance is 179 while the government needs a simple majority to elect the Chief Minister. On July 1, the Supreme Court ordered the election of the Chief Minister on July 22.

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