LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar's resignation from office was accepted Thursday, Geo News reported, following which the provincial cabinet has been dissolved.
Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar accepted the resignation of the chief minister earlier today after Prime Minister Imran Khan nominated Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz for the office last week.
A Punjab Assembly session has been summoned for tomorrow (Saturday) at 11am where the election of the chief minister is expected to come under discussion.
Following the acceptance of the resignation, Buzdar held a two-hour-long meeting with Elahi, where the two leaders discussed the future course of action for the election of the latter to the chief minister's office.
The prime minister nominated the PML-Q leader as the chief minister in a bid to ensure his party's support for foiling the no-confidence motion against him.
But even after securing the PML-Q's support, PM Imran Khan has fallen short of numbers in the National Assembly as the allies — MQM-P, BAP, and others — have sided with the Opposition.
Elahi is expected to face a tough time getting elected to the office as the ruling PTI's Aleem Khan group — having several MPs' support — has refused to back the prime minister's nominee.
The Aleem and Jahangir Tareen groups had also voiced concerns against the governance under Buzdar and sought support from the Opposition to oust him.
The government also suffered a setback today as independent MPA Jugnu Mohsin parted ways with the government and joined the Opposition's benches.
Meanwhile, the Opposition has not nominated anyone for the office yet, but sources say that PML-N's Hamza Shahbaz will be the likely candidate.
On March 28, Buzdar had tendered his resignation after the joint Opposition submitted a no-confidence motion against him in the Punjab Assembly.
The joint Opposition had submitted a no-confidence motion against Buzdar in the Punjab Assembly, citing that they had been "dissatisfied with his performance."
A total of 126 lawmakers — including Rana Mashood, Ramzan Siddique, Malik Ahmed and Mian Naseer — from the Opposition parties had signed the no-confidence motion against Buzdar, said PML-N’s Rana Mashood, adding that 119 members had signed the requisition for a session.
“CM Usman Bazdar has lost the confidence of the majority of the House,” read the resolution.
Once the nomination papers for the chief minister's office are submitted and the scrutiny process concludes, the candidate who secures the votes of the majority of the total membership of the Assembly will be declared the chief minister.
But if no candidate secures the votes of the majority in the first poll, the speaker shall conduct a second poll between the candidates who secure the two highest numbers of votes in the first poll.
The speaker shall then declare the candidate who secures the majority of votes of the members present as the chief minister.
In case during the second poll there is a tie, the speaker shall hold further polls between them until one of them secures the majority of votes of the members present and voting.
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