LAHORE: A crucial session of the Punjab Assembly (PA) for the election of the provincial NEW chief minister (CM) will be held today (Friday) at 4pm under the chairmanship of Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, Pak Revenue reported.
According to details, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has a clear majority in the Punjab Assembly, with Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi now most likely to replace Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as the new chief minister of the province.
During the by-elections in Punjab, the PTI grabbed 15 of the total 20 seats while PML-N won four seats and the remaining one seat went to an independent candidate.
Before the by-polls, the PTI and PML-Q had already attained the strength of 173 (163 of PTI and 10 of PML-Q). Now, with 15 additional seats, this strength has reached 188 whereas the figure of the simple majority stands at 186.
Meanwhile, the coalition government has 179 members – PML-N with 164 members, PPP with seven, three independents and one member of the Pakistan Rah-e-Haq party.
Two MPAs of PML-N, including Jaleel Sharaqpuri and Faisal Niazi, had resigned while Chaudhry Nisar is unlikely to vote for any of the candidates.
According to informed sources, the PTI was eyeing the Independent members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) ahead of the Punjab CM elections. A PTI leader has claimed that two independent members have voiced their support for the party in the Punjab CM poll.
Meanwhile, sources have claimed that PML-N advised five PTI MPAs to remain absent on the day of the election. The PML-N has claimed that three PTI MPAs have been persuaded to remain absent.
On the eve of the CM’s election, Mazari wrote a letter to the chief secretary and inspector-general, seeking security for today’s session.
PA Deputy Speaker seeks security
On the other hand, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari has written a letter to the provincial chief secretary to seek special security measures during the Chief Minister (CM) elections.
PA deputy speaker Dost Mazari’s letter sent to the provincial chief secretary has raised questions as it was dated July 22. In his letter, Mazari stated that security forces should be deployed during the PA session for the elections of the new chief minister.
Earlier, Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan blamed PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari for ‘horse trading’ ahead of the election of Punjab chief minister (CM).
Taking to Twitter, the former premier wrote: “Today Lahore is seeing a repeat of the Sindh House horse trading that happened in Islamabad with up to Rs50 crores being offered to buy MPAs [Members of Provincial Assembly].”
However, Former president Asif Ali Zardari has rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) allegations of ‘horse-trading’. Zardari said if Hassan Murtaza was the candidate for Punjab CM slot, he would have invested money.
The polling will be conducted after the Lahore High Court ordered recounting of votes.