‘Coalition Govt in a Fix’ as ECP De-seats 25 PTI Dissident MPAs Who Voted for Hamza Shehbaz
LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday declared 25 dissident members of PTI de-seated while announcing its verdict in a case pertaining to the dissident members of the Punjab Assembly (MPAs).
The ECP announced the unanimous verdict while accepting the reference against PTI dissidents who voted for Hamza Shahbaz in the election of Punjab chief minister, sent by Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
“MPAs defected from the party by voting in favour of Hamza Shahbaz,” the ECP said in the verdict.
In the election for the chief minister’s slot on April 16, 2022, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz got 197 votes as opposed to the required number of 186 in the House of 371, meaning the support of PTI dissidents was key to his victory.
Hamza will now lose the majority as the dissidents have been de-seated.
The verdict has gained special significance after the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Article 63(A), holding that the vote of dissident MPs cannot not be counted.
The ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, had reserved the verdict on Tuesday after listening to the arguments of PTI lawmakers.
The dissidents had argued that since they did not get any clear policy guidelines from the parliamentary party and in the absence of any direction, the party can not move against them.
Earlier, the ECP, in its May 11 verdict rejected the disqualification reference against the MNAs of the PTI involved in floor crossing during the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan. The ECP said in its verdict that the reference against 20 MNAs of the PTI was not proved.
Who are the de-seated MPAs?
- Raja Sagheer Ahmed
- Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha
- Saeed Akbar Khan
- Muhammad Ajmal
- Aleem Khan
- Nazeer Chohan
- Mohammad Ameen Zulqarnain
- Noman Langrial
- Mohammad Salman
- Zawar Warraich
- Nazeer Ahmed Khan
- Fida Hussain
- Zahra Batool
- Mohammad Tahir
- Ayesha Nawaz
- Sajida Yousuf
- Haroon Imran Gill
- Uzma Kardar
- Malik Asad
- Aijaz Masih
- Sibtain Raza
- Mohsin Ata Khan Khosa
- Mian Khalid Mehmood
- Mehr Mohammad Aslam
- Faisal Hayat
A total of 16 of these MPAs belong to disgruntled Jahangir Tareen group, five to Aleem Khan group and four to Asad Khokhar group of PTI.
Asad Umar calls ECP verdict ‘great achievement’
Speaking to journalists outside the ECP, former planning minister and senior PTI leader Asad Umar congratulated the nation saying “another chapter of heinous politics has closed today”.
“Some of the political parties have used politics for businesses as they are involved in horse-trading,” Umar said, adding that these people [the current leadership] come into power by investing money and earn more by misusing their power.
He highlighted that it was the former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan who stood against such political practices.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict on Article 63(A), Umar said that first the apex court’s verdict and now the ECP’s decision is a “great achievement”.
Highlighting that these 25 turncoats are no longer members of the provincial assembly, Umar expressed his sympathy for those who have invested in them.
He reiterated that the time for consultations is over and the coalition government should announce fresh elections.
Commenting on the prevailing economic crises in the country, Umar said: “The economy is stagnant. There is uncertainty”.
“The country has witnessed external interference and bidding of conscience […] now the people want to see change,” he said.
Dissident MPs’ votes not to be counted
In a major development, the SC ruled earlier this week that the votes of dissident members of Parliament (MPs), cast against their parliamentary party’s directives, cannot be counted.
The court, issuing its verdict on the presidential reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63(A) of the Constitution related to defecting lawmakers, said that the law cannot be interpreted in isolation.
The reference was filed by President Arif Alvi on March 21. The hearings continued for 58 days since its filing.
Amid ruckus, Hamza Shahbaz elected Punjab CM
Hamza was elected as chief minister Punjab in a ruckus marred session of the Punjab Assembly on April 16, 2022.
Ahead of the vote, three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly were arrested for attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari as the party boycotted the session to elect the new chief minister.
Hamza was elected as the new chief minister with 197 votes. While his opponent, Elahi did not receive any votes as his party and PTI had boycotted the polls.
Earlier, the lawmakers of the ruling party had thrown “lotas” at Mazari and attacked the deputy speaker and pulled his hair despite the presence of security guards. The deputy speaker left the hall after this and the session was delayed. Before assaulting Mazari, the PTI lawmakers caused a ruckus when they brought “lotas” to the house and started chanting “lota, lota” (turncoats) as they lashed out at dissident PTI MPAs who parted ways with the party and decided to support the Opposition.
SOURCE: GEO NEWS