ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday de-seated 25 dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPAs who voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz Sharif in Punjab chief minister election, ARY News reported.
The election body had reserved its verdict on Tuesday on the reference seeking disqualification of 25 dissident PTI MPAs of the Punjab Assembly. The reference against deviant members was filed by Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
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The dissident Punjab lawmakers include Abdul Aleem Khan, Nazir Ahmed Chohan, Uzma Kardar, Faisal Hayat, Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha, Saeed Akbar Khan, Mohammad Ajmal, Mohammad Amin Zulqernain, Malik Nauman Langrial, Mohammad Salman, Zawar Hussain Warraich, Nazir Ahmed Khan, Fida Hussain, Zahra Batool, Mohammad Tahir, Aisha Nawaz, Sajida Yousaf, Haroon Imran Gill, Malik Asad Ali, Ijaz Masih, Mohammad Sabtain Raza, Mohsin Atta Khan Khosa, Mian Khalid Mehmood and Mehar Mohammad Aslam.
The ECP decision comes days after SC’s decision on the interpretation of Article 63 (A), announcing that defective votes will not be counted.
The decision was made with a majority of 3-2, Justice Jamal Mandokhel and Justice Nazeer Alam dissented from the decision. The hearing of the case commenced on March 21 under a two-member bench, which was later increased to a larger bench by CJP Bandial.
Article 63(A) cannot be interpreted alone, other articles also need to be kept in context, said the Chief Justice in the verdict.
CM Hamza loses simple majority
Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz Sharif received a total of 197 votes for the CM election while 186 votes are required for a simple majority.
As these 25 lawmakers are no longer members of the House, Hamza has lost simple majority in the provincial assembly. He was sworn in as the 21st Chief Minister of Punjab on April 30 following Lahore High Court (LHC) order.
Hamza Shahbaz was elected as Punjab CM after he secured 197 votes following a chaotic session at the provincial assembly that saw Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari attacked and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi got injured.
Hamza garnered 197 votes to beat Elahi — his rival, whose party PML-Q and ally PTI boycotted the election held on April 16.
Separately, the Lahore High Court (LHC) today issued notices to Hamza Shehbaz and others on separate petitions filed by the PTI and PML-Q requesting the court to declare his election as Punjab chief minister “illegal.”
During today’s hearing, LHC Chief Justice Mohammad Ameer Bhatti clubbed the petitions together.