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Hamza Shahbaz is now the Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shahbaz, son of former chief minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, was notified on Thursday as the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly.

The notification was issued by Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervez Elahi. Hamza’s father and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif is the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.

Hamza Shahbaz had won NA-124 in the July 25 elections, but decided to vacate the seat and keep the Punjab Assembly seat of PP-146, to lead the party at the provincial level. The by-election in the constituency is yet to be held.

He had won the provincial constituency with 71,389 votes defeating Zaman Naseeb of PTI who got 43,422 votes.

In August, PTI candidate Usman Buzdar had defeated Hamza by 27 votes to get elected as chief minister of Punjab.

According to reports, the appointment of Hamza as Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly faced a delay after the Assembly Secretariat received a complaint about forged signatures on his nomination papers. After the inquiry of the matter it transpired that signatures were not forged, and the speaker went ahead to appoint Hamza Shahbaz as opposition leader.

On August 20, Shehbaz Sharif was summoned by accountability court for his alleged involvement in three graft cases including the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC) case. Hamza Shahbaz came along with his father for appearance in the court.

The NAB court had also questioned Hamza Shahbaz in the PSPC case for his alleged role in the award of certain contracts and making appointments in violation of rules as he was not a member of the company’s board of directors.

In its recent crackdown against corruption, NAB has arrested a number of high-profile officials in Punjab and carrying out speedy investigations in various embezzlement cases.

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