At 4 o’clock today, parliamentarians in Punjab will choose their new chief minister.
The arrival of lawmakers at the Punjab Assembly has already started, with some PTI members flashing the victory sign.
Three months have passed since the last election, which incumbent Hamza Shehbaz won on April 16 with 197 votes, including 25 from PTI dissident MPAs. The election, which will be presided over by Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari, was marred by delays and violence.
The dissidents’ votes, which were crucial in electing Hamza to the top position, started a journey that went from their losing their seats to a Supreme Court interpretation of Article 63-A that retroactively nullified their votes, paving the way for a new election to be held for the provincial chief.
Then how did it come to this?
What has happened thus far
The PTI and opposition are courting the PML-Q as a vote of no confidence against Imran Khan develops.
Usman Buzdar leaves his position as CM to become PTI’s Parvez Elahi
After receiving support from 25 PTI dissidents, Hamza is elected Punjab’s chief minister in a violent session.
The dissidents are the subject of an ECP reference that calls for the MPA’s dismissal.
Eventually, they are removed from office for defecting, which causes Hamza to lose the majority he had in the house.
On reserved seats, five PTI MPAs have received notice.
SC calls for new elections to be held today.
There are by-elections for the 20 general seats, and the PTI wins 15 of them.
Due to allegations of horse trading, one PTI MPA resigns.
Elahi is expected to win with 187 supports, while Hamza has 179.
Although the PTI has 187 seats overall, including those held by the PML-Q, it only has 186 votes since PTI Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari would be preside over the session instead of voting. However, a tie is broken by the speaker’s vote.
What led to all of this?
It began in February, when Imran Khan, the incumbent prime minister, was facing a vote of no-confidence.
The opposition, which was courting the PML-Q, was trying to keep it from siding with them.
Usman Buzdar, who had been chief minister at the time, eventually quit his position to make room for Parvez Elahi to run as a joint candidate for the PTI, PML, and Q.
25 PTI dissenters who were eligible to vote did so and chose Hamza. Hamza received 197 votes, surpassing the 186 needed for a simple majority, thanks in large part to their assistance.
Who made Hamza’s ballot?
Raja Sagheer Ahmed
Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha
Saeed Akbar Khan
Abdul Aleem Khan
Nazir Ahmed Chohan
Mohammad Amin Zulqernain
Malik Nauman Langrial
Zawar Hussain Warraich
Nazir Ahmed Khan
Fida Hussain, Zahra Batool
Aisha Nawaz, Sajida Yousaf
Haroon Imran Gill
Malik Asad Ali
Mohammad Sabtain Raza
Mohsin Atta Khan Khosa
Mian Khalid Mehmood
Mehar Mohammad Aslam
What took place next?
After Hamza was elected, the PTI sent a letter proclaiming the 25 MPAs to be defectors to Punjab Assembly Speaker Elahi.
Elahi then forwarded the reference to the ECP, pleading with it to remove these lawmakers for abandoning the PTI by voting in Hamza’s favour against party orders.
The majority of the 25 dissident MPAs attempted to defend their decision to support Hamza by asserting that they had not received any instructions from the party. They alleged procedural issues and stated they never received the required show-cause warnings.
The 25 rebel MPAs were removed from office on May 20 by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), who claimed they had left the party. Hamza’s majority was lost when these representatives left the House.
The Supreme Court mandated earlier this month that the chief minister’s reelection take place on July 22. (today).
On July 6, the ECP notified five MPAs for reserved seats, leaving 20 vacant seats. On July 17 (Sunday), by-elections for the 20 seats were held, and the PTI easily defeated the PML-N to win 15 seats while the latter received only four.
The government and opposition have exchanged accusations and denials since the by-election results.
In light of suspected attempts to court each other’s MPAs before the pivotal CM vote, the term “horsetrading” has returned to the political lexicon.