Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz is likely to be the opposition’s candidate for the province’s chief ministership following Governor Sarwar’s acceptance of Usman Buzdar’s resignation.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhamad Sarwar accepted the resignation of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar today, who would continue to hold office until his successor is elected, a notification issued by the Punjab government confirmed on Friday.
The provincial cabinet dissolved after the Punjab governor accepted the resignation of Usman Buzdar.
According to an order, a copy of which is available with Minute Mirror, the governor wrote, “In exercise of the powers conferred under Article 109 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I, Mohammad Sarwar, the governor of Punjab, hereby summon the 40th session of the provincial assembly of Punjab to meet on Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 11:00am.”
The order said that the session was called for the election of the chief minister of Punjab under Article 130 of the constitution.
However, Usman Buzdar would continue to hold office until his successor is elected.
The Punjab government issued the notification of acceptance of resignation of Usman Buzdar who, sources have said, could be appointed as interim chief minister. Sources said that the notification was being readied for Buzdar’s appointment as interim chief minister.
The notification for the acceptance of the resignation said, “The Governor of the Punjab, in exercise of power conferred upon him under Sub-Article 8 of Article 130 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, has been pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar.”
The notification also said, “Furthermore, under the provision of Article 133 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar shall continue to hold the office until his successor enters upon the office.”
Sources have said that Buzdar held a two-hour long meeting with Chaudhary Pervez Elahi and discussed the future course of action for the election of the latter for the office of Punjab chief minister.
Usman Buzdar submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 28 after a group of lawmakers from the opposition moved no-trust-motion against him with the Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti.
After the move, ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) announced PML-Q leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhary Pervez Elahi as its candidate for the slot of Punjab chief minister. Elahi’s nomination was decided to win the support of the allies ahead of the no-trust-motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan as many other PTI allies were joining hands with the opponents.
Chaudhary Pervez Elahi accepted the offer of Prime Minister Imran Khan and in return announced full support on the day of voting on no-confidence-motion. PML-Q, the close ally of the PTI government in the Punjab and centre, has ten and five seats in the provincial and National Assembly respectively.
Earlier, as Buzdar submitted his resignation, Sarwar left for the federal capital to seek suggestions from the party’s leadership. The sources said that he also held discussions regarding the Punjab CM in light of the present political situation.
Sources have said that Prime Minister Imran Khan gave instructions to Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar about Buzdar’s resignation after he briefed the premier regarding his meeting with the outgoing CM.
Sarwar, who had held a meeting with Chaudhary Pervez Elahi, also briefed the PM about the number-game ahead of the voting on the no-trust-motion against him on April 3.
The opposition has not nominated anyone for the post of CM yet, but sources have claimed that Hamza Shehbaz is likely to be the candidate of the opposition.