Setback to Shehbaz Sharif: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday declared unconstitutional the decision to set aside 10 votes of the deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly. Also named PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervez Elahi as the chief minister of the politically important province. This decision has dealt a big blow to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Pervez Elahi, who lost Friday’s election despite securing a majority, had challenged deputy speaker Dost Mazari’s decision that declared Prime Minister Sharif’s son Hamza the winner. A bench of Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandiyal, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, which heard the case, ruled that Pervez Elahi is the Chief Minister of Punjab province.
Take oath by 11.30 pm
During the election, Mazari cited a letter written by party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to give a ruling against counting of votes of 10 PML-Q legislators who were in favor of Elahi. The court also ordered the Punjab governor to administer the oath of office to Pervez Elahi before 11:30 pm on Tuesday. It has been ordered that if the governor does not administer the oath to Elahi, then President Dr. Arif Alvi can do so.
Earlier, Chief Justice Bandiyal had said that the judgment would be issued at 5:45 pm and later it was fixed at 7:30 pm. However, the verdict was delivered after a delay of three hours.
Elahi secured 186 votes against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Hamza Shahbaz’s 179 votes, but Deputy Speaker Mazari won 10 of the Pakistan Muslim League-Qaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) legislators. Votes rejected. Because of this they were defeated. Mazari’s decision was challenged by Elahi and the court on Saturday asked Hamza to continue as the “trustee” chief minister.
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