Punjab Assembly set to elect new chief minister today
Pervaiz Elahi, Shehbaz Sharif lock in neck-and-neck contest: Winner must bag 186 votes
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The stage is also set for the election of new leader of the house in the Punjab Assembly as members have started to arrive before the start of the session at 11:30 am with more and more MPAs disclosing their tilt towards Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Hamza Shehbaz, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
As senior PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi landed at the Assembly premises early for last-minute meetings with lawmakers to garner support for his party and PTI candidate for the chief ministership, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, several political groups including Jehangir Tareen group, Aleem Khan group, Asad Khokhar group and a number of PTI rebel MPAs attended the dinner hosted by Hamza Shehbaz.
All the participants vowed to extend support to Hamza Shehbaz during election of Punjab chief minister.
Earlier a joint meeting of the PML-Q and PTI parliamentary parties was held in Lahore which was attended among others by Usman Buzdar, Pervaiz Elahi, Shafqat Mahmood and Ijaz Chaudhry. The meeting was also attended by MPAs from PML-N, Tareen group and Chheena group. On this occasion, MPA Khurram Leghari announced to vote in favour of Pervaiz Elahi.
In a related development, PTI MPA Samiullah Khan denied reports that he will support Hamza Shehbaz, saying “I’m Imran Khan’s soldier and will remain so until his last breath.”
For the new Punjab chief minister, Pervaiz Elahi or Hamza Shehbaz will have to muster the support of 186 lawmakers to win the crown.
As per experts, the joint opposition, along with the dissidents, may succeed to get more than the required numbers.
The TV channel said that the PTI-led government coalition also has the support of four rebel members of PML-N. But the ruling party itself is bewildered as 16 members of the Jahangir Tareen group have declared their support for the opposition. As well as another influential group of Aleem Khan has also declared support for Hamza Shehbaz.
Seven members of the PPP have already announced their support for Hamza Shehbaz.
The Chheena group claimed the support of 14 members that vowed to stand by Parvez Elahi.
Independent member Syeda Maimanat Mohsin (Jugnu Mohsin) has joined PML-N.
On the other hand, the importance of smaller parties and independent members has also skyrocketed amid political turmoil.
The number of independent members in the Punjab Assembly is five which included Ch Bilal Asghar, Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh, Ch Nisar Ali Khan and Qasim Abbas Khan.
While, the Rah-e-Haq Party also has one vote of Muhammad Moavia, which could play a decisive role.
According to the rules, if a candidate cannot get 186 votes, then re-polling will be held and on that, the candidate with the majority of the votes will become the Punjab chief minister.