Professor Hasan Askari Rizvi on Friday took oath as interim chief minister of the Punjab.
Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana administered the oath at the Governor’s House.
After weeks of gridlock, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) selected Rizvi’s name from the four proposed by the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led opposition.
Of Rizvi, columnist Ayaz Amir, Admiral Zakaullah and Justice (retd) Sahir Ali, the PML-N refused to budge from their two candidates. In a heated press conference on Thursday, the party rejected Rizvi’s nomination. The ECP has rejected PML-N’s reservations over the nomination.
The party has not only rejected Askari’s appointment but has also urged him to voluntarily step down to save the forthcoming general elections from becoming controversial. Askari reportedly rejected PML-N demand saying his opinions and views were unbiased. The Punjab interim CM said he would ensure free and fair elections.
Prior to the previous government’s hue and cry over his nomination, Askari said his chief responsibility was to support the ECP in holding free and fair elections not deemed objectionable by any political party.