Quetta - PML-N dissenters and PML-Q legislators – who compelled ex-CM Sanaullah Zehri to resign – have unanimously nominated Mir Abdul Qadus Bizenjo as their candidate for the slot of Balochistan chief minister.

Bizenjo is a former deputy speaker and he was among the leading members of the group that signed a no-trust motion against Zehri. After the PML-N efforts to save the chief minister failed, Zehri resigned on January 9, before the house could decide his fate the same day.

“We have selected Mir Bizenjo as new Leader of the House,” announced Sarfaraz Bugti, Jan Muhammad Jamali, Saleh Bhootani and other dissident MPAs in a joint press conference at the Balochistan Assembly.

The united opposition parties –Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Awami National Party (ANP), who collectively have 11 members in the 65-member assembly – also announced to support Bizenjo.

The opposition parties had announced the other day that they will support any candidate brought forth by the PML-N dissidents and PML-Q lawmakers for the CM slot.

The Balochistan Assembly will meet on Jan 13 to elect new Leader of the House.

The six PML-N lawmakers, who remained loyal to Sanaullah Zehri during the political crisis, also held a consultative meeting for discussing name of their candidate.

As per a press release, they agreed to take a final decision and announce their choice on Friday (today) after consultation with other parties, especially coalition partners – PkAMP and NP.

They also decided to reach out to JUI-F and other parties for support, but agreed that given their strength the candidate for the seat of chief minister must be from the PML-N.

Sardar Dur Muhammad Nasar, Haji Muhammad Khan Lehri, Mir Izhar Khoso, Kashoor Ahmed Jattak, Samina Shakil and Anita Irfran are the PML-N MPAs who remained loyal to Zehri and the central leadership of the party.

The announcers of Bizenjo’s name also announced that they would seek PkMAP and NP’s help for the election of their candidate.

But the parliamentary leader of PkMAP, Abdul Rehim Ziaratwal said in his reaction that nomination of Bizenjo was nothing short of making a fun of the democracy and the parliament.

“We, PML-N and NP are closely monitoring the post-Sanaullah’s resignation situation and will elect a unanimous candidate for CM slot,” he said, making an appeal to all political parties “not to become part of the plots” aiming at dissolution of the assembly.

Interestingly, Bizenjo was elected to assembly by pocketing just 544 votes from an Awaran constituency of 57,666 registered voters, in 2013 general elections. This happened as the turnout was an abysmal 1.18 percent because the separatists had called for a boycott of the elections.

The dissenters, Jan Muhammad Jamali and Sarfaraz Bugti, admitted that Mir Bezenjo was elected from a constituency where no Deputy Commissioner had visited for last 10 years and where four Pak Army Jawans had martyred.

But they said they had elected Bizenjo after thorough consultation with all colleagues and their candidate would contest even if the opponents nominated their own candidate for the CM slot.

The designated candidate of the dissenters, Mir Bizenjo said he would give his best if elected CM and added that it would try their best to make sure the assembly completes it constitutional tenure.

“Our expression of no-confidence in Zehri was not based on personnel grudges; it was because some of our colleagues were not satisfied with his leadership,” he added.



Sharif Khan