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Punjab sans chief minister for last three weeks

LAHORE: Around 120 million people of the largest province of the country, Punjab, are without any regular chief minister since Sardar Usman Buzdar has resigned from the office on March 28.

The Punjab governor had accepted the resignation of Sardar Usman Buzdar on April 1.

Even after dilly-dallying by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) for the last couple of weeks, elections for the new chief executive of Punjab was held on April 16 but since then Hamza Shehbaz couldn’t take oath as the new chief minister after Punjab Governor Umar Cheema refused to administer him the oath, raising concerns on the election process.

The PTI had proposed the name of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of its coalition partner PML-Q for the CM’s slot but after the ruckus in the assembly on April 16, he along the PTI boycotted the proceedings in which Hamza Shehbaz was ultimately elected as new CM by bagging 197 votes.

Around two dozen PTI dissidents belonging to Aleem Khan and Jehangir Khan Tareen groups had also voted in favour of Hamza Shehbaz.

Talking to Bol News, Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) President Ahmad Bilal Mehboob said since the resignation of Usman Buzdar practically there was no CM in Punjab at the moment.

He said although Buzdar was working as a caretaker CM but as of now there was no elected CM to run the affairs of Punjab. “In the absence of any government, there is a big vacuum in the province, having more than 50 per cent of the population.”

According to Mehboob, at the moment there was no governor, speaker and deputy speaker in the Punjab assembly as well. “Governor has been removed by the federal government whereas no confidence motions have been submitted against speaker and deputy speaker Punjab assembly.”

The PILDAT president further said there was a complete constitutional crisis in the province which could lead to further chaos. “Such a situation will be dangerous for everybody.”

To a question, he said, there was only one option left for the PML-N and that was to knock the doors of the court to get any direction for administering oath to the newly elected Punjab CM so he could form his government to run the province.

To another question, Mehboob said the new trend of defiance in politics by the PTI and its allies was a sign that they did not accept the way their federal government was removed by the opposition parties.

“It’s part of their politics to register their protest. By doing so, they have declared that they didn’t accept whatever happened in Islamabad during the last couple of weeks.”

Senior leader of PML-N Ata Tarar has already stated that his party would move to the Lahore High Court on Tuesday for its intervention to come out of this constitutional impasse.

Courtesy Bol News

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