Punjab Assembly session faces delay after PTI MPAs attack acting speaker Mazari

Punjab Assembly session faces delay after PTI MPAs attack acting speaker Mazari

Lahore (Web Desk): The crucial session of the Punjab Assembly to elect new chief minister (CM) was delayed on Saturday after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) member of the provincial assembly (MPAs) manhandled Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari when he arrived to chair the session.

According to details, the lawmakers of the ruling party threw "lotas" at Mazari first, attacked him and pulled his hair despite the presence of security guards.

Later, the security guards shifter Mazari to deputy speaker's chamber.

A tough contest is expected for the position between the ruling coalition Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and PTI candidate Parvez Elahi and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hamza Shehbaz, who is the joint opposition's candidate. Both candidates, along with their supporters, had arrived at the PA in the morning.

Voting for election of the new Punjab Chief Minister (CM) is being held today (Saturday) in the Punjab Assembly in Lahore.

Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari will chair the Assembly session to conduct the electoral process.

On Friday, a two member bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected PMLQ's appeal in the case against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari.

The court, while announcing its reserved verdict, declared that the deputy speaker will conduct an electoral process for new Punjab CM at the assembly building in Lahore on Saturday.

On Wednesday directed Punjab Assembly's deputy speaker to hold the election for the Punjab chief minister on April 16.

On April 8, Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly and PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz had moved the LHC seeking the judiciary's help in holding fair and transparent elections for the chief minister's (CM) office as soon as possible.

LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti announced the decision after he had reserved the verdict on petitions on Tuesday.

Justice Bharri heard the case for nearly five hours and observed that since there was a deadlock between the stakeholders over mutually deciding the election date, the decision would thus be taken by the court.

Rejecting Hamza's plea, the LHC CJ Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari to hold the polls on April 16 and ordered all parties to perform their roles impartially.

The court directed the PA secretary to complete all renovation work at the assembly before 11pm on Friday so it is available for use the next day for the election.

It is pertinent to mention that CM's office has been vacant for nearly two weeks since ex-governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, who was removed from his position last week, accepted Usman Buzdar's resignation on April 1.

The PA session was summoned on April 2, 2022, for the office of the new CM contested by PML-N's Hamza Shehbaz and PML-Q senior leader and PA Speaker Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi.

The election was supposed to take place on April 3 but the session was adjourned after a ruckus.

Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari adjourned the proceedings till April 6. But on April 5, the Punjab Assembly (PA) Secretariat issued a notification extending the sitting date of the House to April 16. But later another order was issued stating the house will meet on April 6.

Later, the Punjab Assembly building was sealed and none of the lawmakers were allowed to enter the building of the assembly. The PML-N and its allies held a symbolic session at a local hotel in Lahore where they elected Hamza Shehbaz the chief minister.

Pervaiz Elahi's move to bar assembly members was made after PTI submitted a no-confidence motion against its own deputy speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari maintain the stance that he summoned the session without consulting the party.

Moreover, the joint Opposition also filed a no-trust motion against Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Thursday.

In the 371-member provincial assembly, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has 183 lawmakers, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) 10, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) 165, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) 7, Independent member 5, and one belongs Pakistan Rah-e-Haq Party (PRHP).