Hamza Shehbaz elected Punjab CM with 197 votes

A scuffle also broke out between the PML-N and treasury MPAs as the former supported the police's move to remove Elahi from the house while the latter intervened to stop it.


LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz has been elected as the new chief minister of Punjab with 197 votes on Saturday after police managed to take control of the house amid a scuffle between treasury and opposition benches.

His opponent Pakistan Muslim League-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi could only manage to bag one vote.

Taking the floor after winning the election, CM-elect Hamza accused the previous provincial government led by the PTI of bad governance and corruption. He said his predecessor did not build any mega-development project during its nearly four years in power.

The CM-elect said the PTI regime hatched a conspiracy against the province by appointing an “incompetent chief minister” to run the country’s largest province.

He also vowed to restore the local bodies system in the province, saying that devolvement of power is necessary for the development of the province.

Referring to today’s violence in the provincial assembly, Hamza lashed out at the PTI and PML-Q for “violating” the Constitution and attacking the deputy speaker.

He also appreciated the police for bringing the situation under the control and Deputy Speaker Mazari for fulfilling his constitutional duties.

Responding to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s allegations of US-backed regime change conspiracy, CM-elect Hamza questioned “was it also a part of conspiracy to hide details of gifts received by foreign governments”.

He said his government will not indulge in political victimisation but those who plundered the nation’s wealth will be held accountable and law will take its own course.

Earlier, the Punjab police had to intervene to take control of the house hours after lawmakers belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-Q roughed up the acting speaker, Dost Muhammad Mazari, forcing him to retire to his chambers.

The government lawmakers, who resorted to violence, had warned that they would not allow Mazari to chair the session for the election of the chief minister of Punjab.

The PML-Q had also formulated a strategy to force stop the proceedings of the assembly, resulting in the intervention of the police to smoothen the process.

As the police tried to enter the assembly hall, lawmakers scuffled with the law enforcers and managed to push the police officials out of the hall. However, in their second attempt, after facing considerable resistance, a large contingent of the police managed to enter the assembly and take control of the situation.

As police retained control of the house, they escorted PA Speaker Pervaiz Elahi out of the assembly hall. The PTI and PML-Q, however, resisted the police as they tried to stop them from forcibly removing Elahi from the assembly hall.

A scuffle also broke out between the PML-N and treasury MPAs as the former supported the police’s move to remove Elahi from the house while the latter intervened to stop it.

Earlier in the day, PTI and PML-Q lawmakers attacked Punjab Assembly acting speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari as he arrived in the house to preside over the PA session being held to elect the chief minister.

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