LHC ‘considering’ reelection for CM Punjab slot

During the hearing on pleas filed by PTI and PML-Q, the court said it wants to wrap up the case today.

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While hearing the case challenging Hamza Shehbaz’s election as Chief Minister of Punjab, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday said it is considering reelection for the slot.

According to Geo News, an LHC bench chaired by Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti resumed hearing on separate pleas PTI and PML-Q filed against Hamza’s election.

The court said during the hearing that it wants to wrap up the case today.

After hearing arguments from the PTI’s counsel, the court questioned how would a political crisis be avoided if matters were taken back to the Punjab Assembly session on April 16 and polls were held again.

“In this case, the same presiding officer will hold the polls who was on duty during the April 16 polling,” the court said.

Meanwhile, PTI’s counsel maintained that the party has also challenged the election held with Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari.

Read more: SC Article 63-A verdict doesn’t apply to my election: Hamza Shehbaz

However, the court remarked that the LHC order is available and cannot be challenged.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till 12 pm, directing the counsels of PTI and the provincial government to assist the court when the hearing resumes.

PTI’s MPAs, including Sibtain Khan, maintained in the plea that the police forced the PTI and PML-Q out of the Punjab Assembly to prevent them from exercising their right to vote at the behest of Hamza, followed by riots and chaos, after which Hamza was declared the Punjab CM.

They also questioned the presence of cops inside the provincial Assembly.

They said the secretary of the Assembly had prevented the entry of non-members but alleged that the deputy secretary had called 300 non-members inside.

The petitioners alleged that bogus voting had been done in the election, indicating that PTI MPA Ahsan Saleem Baryar did not cast his vote, but his name was on the voter’s list. They requested that the election of Hamza Shahbaz as the Punjab chief minister be declared null and void.

PML-Q’s plea against Hamza’s election

In his plea challenging Hamza’s election, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who was also a candidate for the CM’s slot, maintained that in light of the Supreme Court’s order, Hamza does not have the required votes to be elected as the chief minister.

The plea requests the court to restrict Hamza from working as the Punjab chief minister till a final decision in this case. It also seeks the cancellation of Hamza’s oath as the CM and orders a new election for the CM slot.

Hamza Shahbaz elected Punjab CM amid ruckus

A ruckus marred Hamza’s election as chief minister of Punjab during a session of the Punjab Assembly on April 16, 2022.

Three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly were arrested ahead of the vote for attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari as the party boycotted the session to elect the new chief minister.

With 197 votes, Hamza Shehbaz was elected as the new chief minister. While his opponent, PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, did not receive any votes as his party and PTI had boycotted the polls.