Punjab Assembly session adjourned till April 6 without voting to elect new CM amid ruckus by opposition & govt lawmakers
LAHORE ( Web News )
A session of the Punjab Assembly (PA) was on Sunday adjourned till April 6 (Wednesday) without voting to elect the new leader of the house amid ruckus by opposition and government lawmakers.
The provincial assembly was to vote on Sunday to elect the new leader of the house, with PML-Q’s PTI-backed Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and PML-N’s Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz Shairf, who had secured the support of Jahangir Khan Tarin (JKT) group, expected to go head to head in the race to become the next chief minister.
Ahead of Sunday’s Punjab Assembly session, the press gallery of the assembly was locked, barring journalists from covering the proceedings.
Earlier, the federal government, in a surprise move, removed Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar from his post hours before the session of the provincial assembly. He was later replaced by Omar Sarfraz Cheema, PTI’s former information secretary.
The top ministerial slot of the largest province fell vacant with the acceptance of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s resignation by Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on Friday.
The Punjab government had de-notified CM Buzdar after the acceptance of his resignation but in the same notification allowed him “to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office”.
In an array of notifications, the provincial government had also denotified all the 37 provincial ministers, five advisers to the chief minister and five special assistants to the chief minister.
Usman Buzdar had presented his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 28 after a delegation of senior lawmakers had submitted a no-trust motion against him with Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti on the same day.
Following Buzdar’s resignation, the PTI had announced the PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervez Elahi as its candidate for Punjab’s chief minister. The move had come as the ruling party had stepped up efforts to ensure the support of its allies ahead of a no-trust vote against the premier, against the backdrop of multiple PTI allies joining the opposition. The PML-Q, which is a crucial ally of the PTI government in Punjab and Centre, with 10 and five seats, respectively, had later confirmed its support for the ruling party.
Following PTI’s announcement, PML-N finalised the name of Hamza Shehbaz for the CM’s post after approval by party supremo Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
To be elected as chief minister, a candidate will need at least 186 votes in the 371-member house. In the Punjab Assembly, the PTI has 183 lawmakers, PML-Q 10, PML-N 165, PPP seven, five are independent and one belongs to Rah-i-Haq.