The PMLN camp believes that Hamza Shehbaz Sharif is still leading by a margin of 13 votes against the joint tally of PTI and PMLQ which is 165 now
LAHORE: All eyes are now on what is going to become of the Hamza Shehbaz-led government in the wake of the apex court’s response (verdict) to the president’s reference on the questions about lawmakers’ defection.
The Punjab Assembly Rules of Procedure states, “The Chief Minister shall be elected by the votes of the majority of the total membership of the Provincial Assembly: Provided that, if no member secures such majority in the first poll, a second poll shall be held between the two members and who secures majority of votes of the members present shall be declared to have been elected as Chief Minister.”
The Rules of Procedures further state that if the number of votes secured by two or more members securing the highest number of votes is equal, further polls shall be held between them until one of them secures a “majority of vote” of the members present.
The PMLN camp believes that Hamza Shehbaz Sharif is still leading by a margin of 13 votes against the joint tally of PTI and PMLQ which is 165 now.
After defection by 25 MPAs of PTI, its old strength in Punjab Assembly has come down to 155 from 180. With the support of 10 MPAs of PMLQ, PTI’s collective strength reaches 165.
On the other hand, PMLN claims that it now enjoys the complete support of 166 MPAs (including those 5 who had claimed support to PTI earlier) and with the support of seven MPAs of PPP, four independents and one of Rah-e-Haq Party, the collective strength of PMLN and allies reach at 178.
Even if those five PMLN MPAs go against party guideline, and are thus excluded, Hamza Shehbaz's strength stands at 173 against 165 of PTI, PMLQ. PMLN claims that in case no party attains the figure of 186 in the House of 371 which is considered a figure of the simple majority, the party with the largest number of support would have its Chief Minister.
Rahila Khadim Hussain, the PMLN MPA who has served for three terms as the legislator, claimed that Hamza Shehbaz would become the Chief Minister even if the 25 dissident MPAs of PTI who supported him are de seated.
The PTI had, through its chief whip, had communicated its chairman Imran Khan’s directive to its MPAs to vote for Pervez Elahi against Hamza Shehbaz. This is pertinent to mention that five dissidents members of PMLN are also left with no choice to either vote for their party or face disqualification if they abstain the voting process against the partyline. Sources said that majority in this group is likely to side with the parent party to save their seats, thus, making PMLN the ultimate beneficiary.