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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has alleged that all institutions are “trying their level best how to retain Hamza Shehbaz as Chief Minister Punjab” despite him having lost majority in the provincial legislature.

“Serious violations of the constitution are being committed in order to retain him (Hamza) as the CM,” according to the PTI stalwart.

“There is practically no government in Punjab for over a month. Pakistan’s largest province is facing worst kind of administrative crisis,” senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said in a statement on Sunday.

“A funny drama is going on in Punjab,” he added.

“The constitution and laws are being flouted with impunity in Punjab. The country’s largest province needs to be saved,” Chaudhry added.

The former information minister said the election of Hamza Shehbaz as CM Punjab stands null and void after Supreme Court’s verdict on the dissident PTI lawmakers.

“But this issue is not being taken seriously in the Lahore High Court,” Chaudhry added.

The election of CM Punjab needs to be held as early as possible but no action is being taken in this context, Chaudhry said.

The PTI leader also took on Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for its failure to notify the PTI candidates as Punjab’s members’ provincial assembly (MPAs) on the five seats reserved for women and non-Muslims despite the passage of a week.

The electoral body, he said, is committing constitution’s violation.

It merits a mention here that ECP has de-seated PTI’s 25 dissident MPAs who voted for Hamza Shehbaz in the election of CM Punjab last month against the party’s policy. The electoral body has announced by-elections on 20 vacant general seats on July 17 whereas five reserved seats would be occupied on the basis of priority list provided to ECP by PTI.

The 25 de-notified legislators are: Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha, Saeed Akbar Khan, Muhammad Ajmal, Faisal Hayat, Mehar Aslam, Mian Khalid Mehmood, Aleem Khan, Nazir Chohan, Malik Asad, Amin Zulqarnain, Malik Nauman Langrial, Muhammad Salman, Zawar Hussain Warraich, Nazir Ahmad Khan, Fida Hussain, Zahra Batool, Sibtain Raza, Muhammad Tahir, Mohsin Atta Khosa, Uzma Kardar, Aisha Nawaz, Sajida Yousaf, Ijaz Masih and Haroon Imran Gill.

After their removal from Punjab Assembly, the strength of ruling coalition has been reduced from 197 to 172 whereas 186 seats are required in the provincial legislature to attain majority in order to keep the government. This implies that CM Punjab has lost majority in Punjab Assembly and requires to obtain a vote of confidence from the assembly that would determine his future as the province’s Chief Executive.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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