Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Hamza Shehbaz has been elected as the 21st Chief Minister of Punjab.
According to early local media reports, Hamza bagged 197 votes in total while his opponent Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Parvez Elahi did not manage to receive any votes. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and PML-Q lawmakers walked out of the session in boycott.
Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari conducted the session which had been delayed due to violence. Earlier, ruckus had broken out on Saturday at the Punjab Assembly prior to the start of the already delayed session to elect the new chief minister.
The deputy speaker, who was set to chair the session, was assaulted by ruling PTI’s lawmakers when he arrived at the assembly to start the session.
PTI members caused a commotion as they brought “lotas” to the house. They chanted “lota, lota” (turncoats) as they assailed at dissident lawmakers who have to break off from the party and made the decision to support the Opposition.
The session was set to start at 11:30am, but was delayed to the behavior of the PTI members.
The police and security of the provincial assembly intervened and rescued the deputy speaker by taking him out of the building. Punjab Speaker Chaudhary Pervez Elahi, on the other hand, strongly criticized police for entering into the house saying they did not have th authority to do so. The speaker said that Inspector General Police Rao Sardar Ali was responsible for this. Elahi said the IGP should be sent behind bars for one month over this incident.
There was commotion inside the provincial assembly with some of the members from the treasury benches throwing chairs at the table of the speaker. The members surrounded the deputy speaker, kicked and chanting slogans against him.
Sources suggest the PTI leadership has decided to resign from the Punjab Assembly in case its candidate Chaudhary Pervez Elahi faces defeat in the polls. They say that PTI Chairman Imran Khan has talked to the party leaders in Punjab and coalition partners in this regard.
Meanwhile, Member of National Assembly Shaza Fatima Khawaja presented the resolution in the National Assembly condemning the attack on Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly. The resolution is unanimously passed by the house.
In a tweet, Mazari said that he knew the people who were behind the attack and the people who were involved in carrying out the incident. He said that he was committed to the Lahore High Court decision and the nation vowing to hold the assembly session and to conduct the election of the chief minister.
آج اسمبلی میں جو کچھ ہوا وہ میرے علم میں ہے کہ کس نے کروایا اور کون کون لوگ ملوث ہیں۔
میری HC اور قوم سے کمٹمنٹ ہے کہ اسمبلی کا اجلاس بھی آج ہی ہو گا اور وزیراعلیٰ کا الیکشن بھی آج ہی ہو گا۔
— 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐫 𝐃𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐌 𝐌𝐚𝐳𝐚𝐫𝐢 (@Dost_M_Mazari) April 16, 2022
In another development, police officers clad in riot gear and bulletproof vests entered the assembly building. PTI lawmakers assaulted the police officers who entered the assembly building. According to media report, three lawmakers belonging to the government were taken in custody for creating unrest in the house. Wasiq Abbasi, Nadeem Qureshi and Timur Ahmed were taken into custody by police officers.
The deputy speaker had written a letter to the senior police leadership to ensure security for session earlier during the day. He said that he required security in order to impart his duties and conduct elections for the new chief minister.
This is a developing story and will be updated as reports come.