Hamza Shehbaz takes oath as CM after dramatic win in Punjab Assembly

Punjab Governor administers the oath in early-morning ceremony

By: News Desk
Published: 09:33 AM, 23 Jul, 2022
Hamza Shehbaz takes oath as CM after dramatic win in Punjab Assembly
Caption: TV grab.
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Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz Sharif took oath as Punjab's new chief executive on Saturday morning, only hours after his dramatic win in the run-off election for the province’s top office Friday night, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

At a simple but impressive ceremony at the Governor's House in Lahore, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman administered the oath of office to Hamza Shehbaz.

The swearing-in event at the Governor’s House was attended by a large number of PML-N and allied parties’ leaders, legislators and other government officials.

Yesterday night, Hamza retained the post of the chief minister as Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari, citing Article 63A of the Constitution, rejected 10 votes cast by the PML-Q lawmakers.

As a result, Hamza received 179 votes, while PTI and PML-Q’s joint candidate Pervaiz Elahi managed to bag 176 votes after his score of 186 votes was cut down.

Dost Mazari had vetoed the 10 PML-Q votes after party head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had sent a letter to the deputy speaker, implying that his lawmakers would not be voting for anyone.

Re-elected Hamza was joyous over his win. On his Twitter account today, he wrote: “Thanks be to Allah Almighty who made us successful once again. Thanks also to Asif Zardari and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, including the members of the Muslim League-N, coalition parties, who have played their key role for the strengthening of democracy in the country. Inshallah, we will continue the mission of serving people.”

https://twitter.com/HamzaSS/status/1550699955744030720

Yesterday, the Punjab Assembly session began two hours and 50 minutes behind schedule (4:00 PM).

The deputy speaker’s announcement sparked an altercation between the chair and the PTI lawmaker Raja Basharat on the validity of the latter’s ruling.

An outraged Elahi asked how the deputy speaker could reject the vote of the candidate himself, while former law minister Basharat Raja argued that it was not the party chief’s prerogative, rather that of the parliamentary party leader, to issue the party line.

Mr Raja told the deputy speaker that he was “doing everything wrong”. On which Mazari told the ‘opposition lawmaker that he can move the court if they have an objection’.

Soon after the dramatic win of Hamza, PTI Chief Imran Khan gave a call to protest against 'election manipulation' for Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz.

 “I want to appeal to the nation to record their peaceful protest against the Punjab Assembly developments tonight,” Imran Khan said after the ruling of the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker, declaring Hamza has been re-elected CM.

“Don't take the law into your hands; stay peaceful,” he said to his supporters.  

“I am surprised at what happened in the Punjab Assembly,” Imran Khan said and questioned if people accept this decision.

He stressed Chaudhry Shujaat's letter is not effective, the decision rests with the parliamentary leader.

Later, on Imran’s protest call, countrywide protests broke out against Hamza’s re-election. Though the former prime minister laid stress on peaceful protest, violence and law-breaking were reported.

PML-Q leader and Ch Pervaiz’s son Moonis Elahi declared the ruling of Punjab Assembly deputy speaker illegal as he shared the letter of the PML-Q parliamentary leader Sajid Bhatti on his twitter account who decided that Ch Pervaiz was their unanimous candidate. 

The face of this most crucial election immediately changed following PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari’s two back-to-back meetings with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain at the latter’s residence, which continued well after midnight. When he did finally leave, Mr Zardari left Shujaat Hussain’s residence while waving the victory sign.

Following the unexpected turn of events at Friday’s session of the Punjab Assembly, the PML-Q filed a petition in the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court which was opened at midnight on the directions of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial, who was present in the city, to entertain the plea. 

Lahore Registry Deputy Registrar Ejaz Goraya and other staff reached the registry around midnight, and the petition was filed by PML-Q lawyer Amir Saeed Rawn.

Earlier, both PTI and PML-Q had announced their intention to challenge the contentious ruling of Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, declaring Hamza Shehbaz as the elected chief minister of Punjab.

PM expresses his gratitude 

In his tweets, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked Ch Shujaat, former president Asif Ali Zardari and other allies for their support. 

The PM wrote on his official Twitter handle: “We bow before Allah Ta'ala Who has blessed us with victory once again. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain is a pioneer and political heir of Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi Shaheed. He once again revived the democratic tradition of his great father and family. His role defines victory of democracy and constitutional values for which I pay tribute to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, his family, and colleagues. Former president Asif Ali Zardari has played a historic role for the constitution, democracy and the people. Former president Zardari's political tolerance ended the crisis. 

“I pay tribute to Mr Asif Ali Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto, MQM, ANP, BNP, BAP and all the respected leaders of the coalition parties individually, for their political insight, unity and support. Democracy won. The nation salutes you all.”

Reporter Malik Ashraf