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Key PA session today after de-seating of dissident PTI MPAs

Speaker Elahi may give ruling that Hamza is no more CM in the light of SC and ECP’s rulings

Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has once again rescheduled the assembly session by using his discretionary powers.

The session is being held today (Sunday) instead of May 30.

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“In exercise of the powers vested in me under rule 25 (b) of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997, I, Parvez Elahi, Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab hereby order that the next sitting of the 40th session of Punjab Assembly will now be held on Sunday 22nd May 2022 at 12.30 PM in Assembly Chambers, Lahore instead of Monday, 30th May 2022 at 1.00 PM,” said a notification issued by the Punjab Assembly secretariat.

Elahi used his discretionary powers to reschedule the session for a third time in less than a month.

On April 28, he deferred the session with voting on the no-trust motion against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari on the agenda item for May 16.

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The reason cited by him to reschedule the session was the arrest of Punjab Assembly senior officers by police. Anayat Ullah Lak, secretary coordination of Punjab Assembly and close confidant of Elahi, was detained that day by police under 3-MPO when he was on his way to office. There were also fears that Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti, another close confidant of Elahi, may also be arrested.

The second time Elahi adjourned the session for May 30 without citing any reason. Now, he has once again rescheduled the session while convening it on May 22 (today).

It was earlier reported by Minute Mirror that Elahi was delaying the session to avoid the no-trust motion submitted against him on April 8 by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that was in the opposition at that time.

According to the rules, the voting on a no-trust motion should be held within seven days but Elahi kept delaying it “smartly” by using his office.

It is pertinent to mention here that Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari is also facing a no-trust motion submitted by the PTI-PML-Q alliance that was ruling at that time.

The motion against Mazari was submitted a day before the motion against Elahi when Deputy Speaker was accused of supporting the opposition of that time led by Hamza Shehbaz.

Later, Hamza Shehbaz became chief minister on April 16 by getting 197 votes against Elahi in the violence-marred session.

Once the election was over, Elahi again assumed the charge of speaker and moved a reference in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against 25 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissidents, who voted for Hamza.

The ECP had de-seated 25 MPAs and the Supreme Court had also given a ruling that their votes will not be counted.

After subtracting 25 votes, Hamza had lost the majority in the house.

In today’s session of the Punjab Assembly, Elahi may give a ruling that Hamza is no more the chief executive of the province in the light of the SC judgment and decision by the ECP.

The matter will once again land in the court where a petition against Hamza’s election is already pending.

The PML-N will challenge any decision made by Elahi in this regard in the court. Moreover, it is also likely that Elahi may proceed the voting on the no-trust motion against Deputy Speaker Mazari as both were seen at loggerheads during the last one month since the crisis surfaced in Punjab.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has summoned a parliamentary meeting of the PML-N and its allied parties.

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