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SC says Punjab CM election won’t be held today

SC adjourns hearing till 4 pm, summons Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi via video link.

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Supreme Court (SC) on Friday said that it was the Punjab chief minister election would not be held at 4 pm as it took up the PTI’s petition against the LHC’s order to recount the votes cast in the April 16 election.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan made these remarks while presiding over the hearing along with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.

The three-member bench adjourned the hearing till 4 pm as the SC summoned Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi via video link.

The LHC on Thursday declared PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz’s election as chief minister of Punjab void while hearing the PTI and the PML-Q’s pleas against Hamza’s election held on April 16.

According to the LHC, if Hamza does not secure 186 votes in the 371-member strong house to stay the CM, the election will be held again under Article 130(4) unless another candidate has majority votes.

Read more: PTI challenges LHC order to recount Punjab CM votes in SC

During the hearing today, the PTI sought to defer the PA proceedings by seven days. When the hearing resumed after a short break, Justice Ahsan remarked that it was clear the election could not be held today.

However, he disagreed with the PTI’s request for an extension of seven days because its MPAs were out of the country. He said that if there was no objection to Hamza continuing as CM, the only point of contention was the timeframe.

Justice Ahsan added that one more day could be given for holding the PA session under the dissenting note in the LHC verdict. “There should be an appropriate time for a revote,” he said.

Imtiaz Siddiqui, one of PTI’s lawyers, pointed out that the ECP had not yet notified lawmakers on the reserved seats in the PA, to which Justice Ahsan remarked that “the world would not come to an end” if the notification were not issued.

Subsequently, the chief justice summoned Hamza and Elahi, adjourning the hearing till 4 pm.

 

Additional input from Dawn