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Pakistan

ECP de-seats PTI dissident MPAs who voted for Hamza as Punjab CM

  • Hamza Shehbaz became CM after receiving 197 votes, including 25 from PTI's dissident lawmakers
  • SC had already said parliamentarians cannot vote against their party policy
Published May 20, 2022

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-seated on Friday dissident MPAs of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Aaj News reported.

The ECP in its verdict said that the parliamentarians had defected from the party.

This throws into question the election of Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab chief minister - he assumed the role after receiving 197 votes, including 25 from the PTI dissident lawmakers who have now been de-seated. 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.

The decision comes the same week the Supreme Court (SC) announced that parliamentarians cannot vote against their party policy, adding that the votes of dissident lawmakers will not be counted.

The 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."

Votes of dissident lawmakers will not be counted, SC announces verdict on presidential reference

The ECP on Tuesday had reserved its verdict after the completion of the arguments, saying that it will announce it on Wednesday. However, on Wednesday, the case was de-listed from the Election Commission's cause list for the day.

ECP postpones verdict on dissident PTI MPAs

After the election, Elahi sent a reference against the dissident MPAs to the ECP, urging the forum to de-seat the lawmakers for defecting from the party policy.

“The MPAs named in the reference had been issued directions by the PTI but they had cast their votes for Hamza,” the reference had stated. The dissident MPAs had been issued show-cause notices to explain their position but they had not replied, it added.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court on Friday issued notices to Hamza and others regarding petitions challenging his election as CM.

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.

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