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Pakistan

Punjab CM election saga: LHC issues notice to Hamza, others

  • Justice Mohammad Ameer Bhatti clubs petitions of PTI and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi together
20 May, 2022

The Lahore High Court (LHC) issued on Friday notices to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others regarding petitions challenging his election as CM, Aaj News reported.

Last month, Hamza was elected as Punjab CM after receiving 197 votes. Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who was the joint candidate of PTI and PML-Q, did not receive any vote as both parties boycotted the voting session.

In a petition filed today, Elahi challenged Hamza’s election, saying that the PML-N leader had failed to secure the requisite number of votes in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict that the votes of defecting lawmakers would not be counted.

Earlier, the PTI had also moved the high court, requesting it to declare Hamza’s election illegal and restrain Hamza from working in the capacity of CM.

During a hearing, Justice Mohammad Ameer Bhatti clubbed the two petitions together and sent to the respondents, which include Hamza, Punjab chief secretary, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari, Punjab governor’s principal secretary and Punjab Assembly’s secretary.

Earlier, the SC had said that parliamentarians cannot vote against their party policy, adding that the votes of dissident lawmakers will not be counted.

The apex court, issuing its verdict on the presidential reference that sought its interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, which pertains to the disqualification of lawmakers over defection, said that the “article concerned cannot be interpreted alone.”

The LHC said that it should be informed of when the SC’s interpretation of Article 63-A should be applicable and has adjourned the hearing till May 25.

Meanwhile, Omar Sarfraz Cheema has challenged his removal as Punjab governor in the Islamabad High Court.

He said his removal as Punjab governor has created a constitutional crisis in the province and claimed PM Shehbaz illegally ousted him to benefit Hamza.

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