LAHORE, Pakistan: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hamza Shahbaz has been elected as the Chief Minister of the Punjab province by securing majority of votes in the runoff election held at the 371-member House.
Hamza Shahbaz secured 179 votes whereas Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi – the Joint Candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) – bagged 176 votes.
The runoff election was held at the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on Friday to elect the Provincial Chief Minister amid fool proof security arrangements.
The Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari presided over the session.
Though 186 votes were cast in favor of Parvez Elahi; however, the Deputy Speaker declined to count 10 votes cast by PML-Q MPAs citing Article 63 (1) (A) of the Constitution of Pakistan; therefore, the parliamentary strength of the opposition alliance shrunk to 176.
Dost Muhammad Mazari also read a letter written by the PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain directing lawmakers of his party to vote for Hamza Shahbaz. Therefore, the Deputy Speaker rejected all votes cast by PML-Q MPAs in defiance of Chaudhry Shujaat’s orders.
Earlier, Shujaat Hussain excused to support his cousin Parvez Elahi in the election, saying that he can’t support Imran Khan’s candidate.
In the Chief Minister election, the PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi enjoyed the support of PTI having the majority of seats in the House whereas the PML-N’s Hamza Shahbaz was backed by lawmakers from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Independents, and Pakistan Rah-e-Haq Party (PRHP).
The PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi claimed that Article 63-A authorizes the Parliamentary Party to issue directions in relation to election of the Chief Minister; therefore, Shujaat Hussain’s directives in this regard didn’t carry any weightage.