After the Punjab Assembly building in Pakistan was locked and sealed off with barbed wires amidst all the political drama in the country, the opposition lawmakers, led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, held a session of their own at a hotel to elect a new Punjab chief minister. This comes after the opposition lawmakers of the National Assembly had ‘elected’ a new Prime Minister after the assembly session was prorogued by the speaker on Sunday.
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday announced that her cousin Hamza Shahbaz was “elected” as the Punjab chief minister at a session held in a private hotel in Lahore.
Hamza Shehbaz Sharif with 199 votes elected as Chief Minister Punjab. Shukar Alhamdolillah.— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 6, 2022
Nawaz Sharif zindabad 🙌❤️
The legitimacy of the election is at stake as the session was held outside the Punjab Assembly and was attended only by opposition lawmakers. Punjab Assembly speaker Parvez Elahi and Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari were not present during the ‘assembly session’ called by PML-N lawmakers. Interestingly, the Punjab Assembly secretariat has not issued any notifications regarding the session or venue change or the so-called election that elected Hamza as the chief minister of Punjab.
The session was instead presided over by PPP MPA Shazia Abid. Abid claimed that she was appointed to the panel of chairmen for the 40th session of the Punjab Assembly on April 3.
According to the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997, a member of the panel of chairmen can preside over the session in the absence of the speaker and the deputy speaker. Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti confirmed her presence on the panel on April 2.
This comes after the joint opposition in Pakistan led by PPP and PML-N had held a mock session inside the National Assembly on Sunday after Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri ended up the actual session.
In an unexpected action following the decision of the Deputy Speaker of the national assembly to dismiss the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan govt and suspend the session, the opposition resumed the session of the assembly in protest of the deputy speaker’s decision and elected Shahbaz Sharif as the new Prime Minister.
The opposition had appointed Ayaz Sadiq as the speaker of the National Assembly, who resumed the no-confidence vote against the incumbent government led by Imran khan. Sherry Rehman, who is a member of the assembly, had tweeted a video stating that a total of 197 members voted for the motion.
197 opposition members by counting via Division excluding Ayaz Sadiq https://t.co/Nh0WT5uHbd— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) April 3, 2022
The opposition MPs remained in the house after the deputy speaker had dismissed the no-confidence motion, and the session was prorogued. Then, PML(N) MP Ayaz Sadiq occupied the speaker’s chair and announced business resumption in the house. He reactivated the no-confidence motion dismissed by the deputy speaker and put it to vote, which was voted in favour of the motion as the ruling party MPs had already left the house.
After that, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) chief Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was ‘elected’ as the house leader and was declared the Prime Minister. It may be noted that the Pakistani president has already dissolved the national assembly on the advice of PM Imran Khan, and fresh elections will be called soon.