PTI’s Sibtain Khan was elected as the new speaker of the Punjab Assembly on Friday, and his first order of business was to allow a motion of no confidence to be moved against Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari, which succeeded.
- Sibtain Khan elected as new speaker, sworn in shortly after
- Sibtain bags 185 votes, while PML-N’s Khokhar secures 175
- No-trust motion against Dost Mazari as deputy speaker succeeds
- Session adjourned to 1pm on Sunday, during which Mazari’s successor will be elected
The office of the speaker fell vacant when Sibtain’s predecessor, PTI and PML-Q’s joint candidate Chaudhry Parvez Elahi became the chief minister.
During the election for the speaker, Sibtain was victorious with 185 votes of the total 364, while Khokhar managed 175. Four votes were rejected. Sibtain was swiftly sworn in as the speaker.
PTI’s Shireen Mazari congratulated the new speaker after the election, and termed his victory “another failure for the imported govt”.
Friday’s election, which began shortly after 5:30pm, was conducted by Panel of Chairmen member Wasim Badozai.
By 8pm, voting, which was by secret ballot, was temporarily halted after opposition benches alleged foul play.
Saiful Malook Khokhar, PML-N’s nominee for the speaker, raised objections over the serial numbers on the ballot papers and reportedly threw them away. Subsequently, Badozai called security to the House.
Later, polling resumed, following which former chief minister Hamza Shehbaz cast his vote.
After Sibtain took charge as speaker, former law minister Raja Basharat presented a resolution seeking permission to initiate no-confidence proceedings against Mazari as the deputy speaker. The resolution was approved for voting.
After midnight, voting by secret ballot took place, in which 186 lawmakers voted against Mazari, bringing his term as the deputy speaker to a premature end.
The session was then adjourned till 1pm on Sunday, during which Mazari’s successor will be elected. On Saturday, candidates for deputy speaker will submit their nomination papers, Sibtain said.
Earlier, lawmakers arrived at the assembly building, and television footage showed Hamza speaking briefly to reporters.
In its proceedings yesterday, the House adopted a resolution seeking the suspension of the assembly rules that authorise the governor to summon a session for the contest and also holding a vote of no-confidence against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari today.
PTI, PML-Q hold joint parliamentary meeting
Ahead of the session, a joint provincial parliamentary party meeting of the PTI and the PML-Q took place with Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in the chair. Senior PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar and Umer Cheema were also part of the meeting.
Sibtain Khan, the PTI lawmaker from Mianwali, has been nominated by the ruling coalition comprising PTI and PML-Q for the office of the speaker, while opposition parties PML-N and PPP have fielded Khokhar as their joint candidate.
The nomination papers of both the contestants were cleared after scrutiny by newly appointed assembly secretary Inayatullah Lak. His predecessor Mohammad Khan Bhatti was transferred and posted as principal secretary to the chief minister in an unprecedented move as no assembly service officer has ever been sent on deputation to a general service post.
Earlier, a sitting of the longest session of the assembly was held with Wasim Badozai in the chair in which former law minister Raja Basharat tabled a resolution to suspend the rules of business for holding polls for the seat of speaker and for no-confidence vote against Deputy Speaker Mazari on Friday (today) afternoon. The motion was adopted with a majority vote.
After reading out the procedure for the election of the new speaker, Badozai put off the proceedings till today.
Elahi prevails over Hamza after legal wrangling
The long-drawn-out battle for the provincial chief executive had finally drawn to a close earlier this week after the Supreme Court struck down the deputy speaker’s ruling on the Punjab chief minister’s re-election, which had led to Hamza Shehbaz’s victory.
During the election, the deputy speaker, had decided against counting the votes of 10 PML-Q lawmakers, which were cast in Elahi’s favour, citing a letter written by party President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in which he had instructed them to vote for Hamza instead. That decision had tipped the balance in Hamza’s favour — an advantage the SC reversed in its verdict on Tuesday.
Elahi was, subsequently, sworn in at 2am on Wednesday.
The PTI-PML-Q coalition then decided to move a no-confidence resolution against Mazari, who was elected to the office as PTI’s candidate.