MAJORITY “NEUTRALIZED”: PA DEPUTY SPEAKER GIVES A CONTROVERSIAL RULING

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BY: Nasir Mehmood Kiyani

In a controversial ruling, the deputy speaker Punjab Assembly declared the runner-up candidate Hamza Shahbaz victorious and Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi who claimed the majority of the house has been declared the loser. As per the apex court’s order, the Punjab Assembly session was held today and the deputy speaker did not start the session at 4:00 PM as it was ordered in the Supreme Court judgment given on July 1, 2022. When the delayed session started, interesting news emerged that after the meeting with Asif Ali Zardari, PMLQ head Chaudry Shujahat Hussain has issued written directives to PMLQ members to vote against PMLQ and PTI candidate Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi.

After the confirmation of this news, the son of Chaudry Pervaiz  Elahi tweeted a document carrying the directions to all 10 MPAs of PMLQ to vote for Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi.

Chaudry Monis Elahi, son of PTI-PMLQ candidate also claimed that during a meeting of the PMLQ parliamentary committee, directives were issued to party members regarding the CM Punjab election and all MPAs endorsed these directives.  

When the voting process started, all PMLQ MPAs voted in favor of Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi and with the support of PTI, the joint candidate of PTI-PMLQ claimed the majority with 186 votes. On the other hand, PMLN-PPP joint candidate received 179 votes.

After compiling the final results, deputy speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari gave his ruling that the head of PMLQ Chaudry Shujahat Hussain issued the directives to MPAs of PMLQ to vote in favour of Hamza Sharif but PMLQ voted in favour of Pervaiz Elahi so according to article 63-A and order of the supreme court, these 10 votes would not be considered.

PTI lawmaker Raja Basharat challenged this ruling and pleaded that this ruling is not only against the order of the supreme court but also contrary to article 63-A of the constitution. The Deputy Speaker did not consider his argument and maintained his ruling.

Consequently, 10 votes of PMLQ got rejected and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif was declared as winner with 179 votes and Chaudry Pervaiz Elahi got 176 votes.

According to law experts, the ruling of PA deputy speaker is unlawful and unconstitutional. Senior law expert Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said, “Ruling of PA deputy speaker is contrary to the supreme court order and article 63-A of the constitution. This ruling will be declared null and void by the courts.”

Another senior law expert Salman Akram Raja reacted to the situation on Twitter and said, “Party head can’t stop the members of the parliamentary party from voting in accordance with the decision of the parliamentary party. Ar 63A is clear. Some manipulations of the Constitution are sad, this one is just silly.”

In another separate tweet, senior lawyer said “Travesty by the Deputy Speaker. All sides have tried to make a mockery of the Constitutional process when it has suited them to do so. The Constitution functions meaningfully only when all entrusted with implementing it follow its text & its spirit regardless of partisan politics.”

Just after the election of CM Punjab, Former Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation and categorically rejected the result and controversial ruling of PA deputy speaker. PTI chairman said that “Asif Ali Zardari came here in Lahore for “Horse-Trading” and he is involved in such corrupt practices for the last 30 years. We will challenge this result and ruling of PA deputy speaker in Supreme Court.”