Hamza Shahbaz retakes oath as Punjab chief

Following political turmoil, Elahi was defeated by PML-N after Shujaat ordered his party to vote for Hamza

Our Correspondent July 23, 2022


Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman on Saturday administered the oath to freshly re-elected Chief Minister of Punjab Hamza Shahbaz, following a day of turmoil and political tension which ultimately resulted in the defeat of PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for a second time.

Ministers, leaders of PML-N, office bearers, workers, members of national and provincial assembly and high officials were present at the oath-taking ceremony.

Slogans of "Aik Zardari Sab Pe Bhaari" (one Zardari outweighs them all) were heard soon after Hamza took the oath.

Hamza’s second victory

After a nail-biting climax which had appeared as clear as day, the PML-N on Friday won a dramatic victory against the PTI that few had predicted in the Punjab chief minister’s election, retaining the throne of Punjab after surviving its closest brush with loss in the political heartland.

Warmed in the nick of time by a letter from PML-Q head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain — instructing his MPAs to vote for PML-N’s candidate — Hamza Shehbaz was declared a victor after Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari ruled that PML-Q members’ votes were not counted in light of party head’s letter.

Read Faisal Shahkar replaces Rao Sardar as Punjab police chief ahead of CM poll

According to Mazari, Hamza received 179 votes whereas Elahi garnered 176 votes, but only after 10 votes of Elahi’s own party were not counted, which turned the tables in Hamza’s favour.

In line with the ruling of the Supreme Court verdict on Article 63-A related to the defection clause, the deputy speaker said he had rejected the votes of PML-Q lawmakers.

Ironically, the apex court’s verdict had served as the legal ground to trigger a second round of elections for the chief minister’s office.

In accordance with the recipe ordered by the apex court, the run-off polls took place five days after the by-polls on 20 seats that fell vacant after the disqualification of PTI defectors who voted for Hamza, in a new, reconstituted House with a changed electoral college.


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