- Minister says PML-N has majority in provincial assembly with 177 votes
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb clarified on Friday that the de-seating of dissident PTI MPAs by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) does not affect PML-N government's rule in Punjab because it has a majority of 177 votes.
Addressing a press conference, she said that 172 votes were needed to maintain a majority and the verdict does not affect Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz’s position.
The ECP verdict potentially throws into question Hamza Shehbaz's election as CM, given 25 of the lawmakers who voted for him were dissident PTI MNAs who have been de-seated. Its decision comes the same week the Supreme Court announced that parliamentarians cannot vote against their party policy, adding that the votes of dissident lawmakers will not be counted.
“Despite de-seating of 25 MNAs, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) still has a majority in Punjab,” said Aurangzeb, adding that affected MNAs could challenge the verdict.
She said defection of the 25 PTI MPAs reflected the incompetence of Imran Khan.
“They all were well aware of the consequences and they knew that the PTI government benefited different cartels,” the minister said.
Terming the previous leadership power hungry, Aurangzeb said that it wanted to stay in power at the cost of the well-being of the public.
Noting that the PTI had 25 less lawmakers at present, she predicted that it would not be able to find a single person to give a ticket in the next general elections.
She also pointed out that the ECP released the verdict of this case within a month while a case relating to PTI's foreign funding has been pending for the past 8 years.
She blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for implementing multiple tactics to ensure a delay in the hearings and conclusion of the foreign funding case.
“When a court issues a verdict in PTI’s favour, it is celebrated but when the same court gives an adverse verdict, it is criticised,” she said. “The Election Commission of Pakistan was being criticised by PTI a few days back.”
According to her, neither PTI nor Imran Khan had submitted any evidences in the courts pertaining to the case. Aurangzeb also elaborated that not a single accusation made by PTI on PML-N’s leadership during its 4-year tenure was proved right.
She further said that the no-confidence motion that ousted former PM Imran Khan was a constitutional move and by law, and MNAs were free to vote for either side.