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Wednesday October 05, 2022

Pervaiz Elahi summons Punjab Assembly session today

The Punjab assembly session will be presided over by Elahi who just a day ago issued a statement that he would dissolve the PA within half an hour after getting elected as CM

May 22, 2022
The Punjab Assembly building in Lahore. Photo: The News/File
The Punjab Assembly building in Lahore. Photo: The News/File

LAHORE: In a surprise move, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has summoned the PA session on Sunday (today) while cancelling the previous date of the assembly session scheduled for May 30.

This is for the third time that the date of the PA session has been changed by the speaker. It was scheduled for the first week of May, but later he gave the date of May 16, and just a few days before its scheduled session, the date of May 30 was given. Now after a dramatic change in the numbers game in the PA, following the de-seating of 25 PTI dissident MPAs who were siding with the PMLN, Elahi has summoned the PA session just on the notice of one day.

It is pertinent to mention here that most of the MPAs hailing from remote districts of Punjab are not expected to attend the session taking place today. The session will be presided over by Elahi who just a day ago issued a statement that he would dissolve the PA within half an hour after getting elected as CM. The PTI and the PMLQ, two opposition components in the PA, jointly form the strength of 168 (158 of PTI and 10 of PMLQ). If the vote of Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari, the deputy speaker who is supporting the PMLN now, is considered minus from the PTI tally, the joint PTI and PMLQ strength could reduce to 167.

Hamza Shehbaz, if asked to prove majority in the House, needs to win the election even by a margin of one vote and does not have to prove the 186 members figure, as it would be the second round of the CM election. The PMLN has a total of 166 MPAs, but five of its members are dissidents. With the safe support of 161 MPAs now, Hamza earns the support of seven PPP MPAs and four independents as well as one from the Rah-e-Haq Party, which takes the present treasury benches strength to 173.

The PMLN is still leading the contest apparently and if even two or three dissident MPAs end their differences with the parent party, the PMLN could survive, though not with a big margin. The PA speaker is expected to take important decisions concerning the no-confidence move against him as well as his deputy, though both represent rival camps now. The situation is also interesting because at present, Punjab has no governor and in case the House passes any bill, it could also wait for another two weeks to reach the governor who is the signing authority.

A very noisy PA session is expected today as the temperature is high on both sides. A recent statement of former prime minister Imran Khan regarding Maryam Nawaz has also been condemned and the PMLN has submitted a resolution in the PA against it.

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