Vote recount for Punjab CM election takes place today

n In 4-1 verdict, Lahore High Court orders recounting after excluding 25 defecting PTI MPAs n Under Article 130 (4), if any candidate fails to secure required majority (186 votes), then presiding officer should proceed for second polls, rules LHC n Any attempt of disorder from any quarter will be taken as contempt of court, says verdict n Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi dissents with majority verdict n PTI to move SC against CM Punjab’s recount verdict: Imran

LAHORE    –   A five-judge bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday ordered recounting of votes for election of Punjab Chief Minister after excluding 25 votes of defecting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs).

The bench comprising Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, Justice Shahid Jamil Khan, Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry, Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh announced the verdict with a 4-1 majority on petitions and intra-court appeals filed by Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, PTI MPAs and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) against the election of Hamza Shehbaz, the steps taken by him as the chief minister and his oath-taking.

The bench passed the orders while partially allowing the petitions regarding Hamza Shehbaz’s election. However, the bench disposed of the appeals challenging the oath-taking of Hamza Shehbaz after terming it an ancillary matter. Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi dissented with some points of the majority verdict.

In its short order, the majority ruling said that under Article 130 (4), if any candidate fails to secure the required majority (186 votes), then the presiding officer (deputy speaker) should proceed for the second and further polls for completing the process of the election unless a candidate is elected by a majority vote.

The bench further held that Hamza Shehbaz would cease to be chief minister if he loses the required majority after exclusion of 25 votes and the communication of his being elected candidate and notification would be considered quashed in that scenario. However, functions and powers exercised by Hamza Shehbaz and his cabinet would be protected under de facto doctrine, it added.

The bench observed that the session, called for the purpose, should resume on July 1 at 4:00pm without fail and all functionaries should act jointly to implement the court orders, adding that the session should not be prorogued till the election process was completed and presiding officer intimated the result of elected chief minister to the provincial governor under Rule 21.

The bench held that under Article 130 (5), the governor would perform his duty of administering an oath without hesitation at the very next day on or before 11:00am.

The bench held that any attempt of disorder from any quarter would be taken as contempt of the court and would be proceeded on formal information by any person. The print and electronic media had reported the court proceedings professionally and carefully; however, some Vloggers attempted to scandalise the proceedings recently. “We, therefore, direct the FIA and PEMRA [Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority], having jurisdiction in the matter, to take legal action on their own or if so informed by any person. This larger bench shall initiate contempt proceedings for scandalising the proceedings, if so brought formally before it by any person,” it added.

Speaking at a news conference in Lahore on Thursday, PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar said Hamza Shehbaz is still Punjab’s Chief Minister and we have a simple majority of 177 votes in the house while the opposition has 168 members. He said the court did not annul the previous decision nor did it order the fresh elections.

Attaullah Tarar said the Punjab Governor was directed by the court to summon the Punjab Assembly session on Friday evening. The Punjab Assembly Secretariat has issued notification for the 40th session of the House to be held at 4 pm on Friday. In the session, the re-counting of votes for the election of Punjab Chief Minister will be held under Article-130 of the Constitution.

Attaullah Tarar also said that if 25 votes of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissident members are excluded, “even then our members are 177 in the Punjab Assembly”. Talking to the media here on Thursday, outside the Lahore High Court (LHC) after announcement of the verdict on petitions against Hamza Shehbaz’s election, he welcomed the LHC verdict and termed it a good omen, adding that the verdict would be implemented in letter and spirit

He said that the PML-N coalition government enjoyed a majority of nine votes in the current situation. He expressed hope that they would also win this run of elections. He said that if someone tried to create a law and order situation in the Punjab Assembly session, then it would be contempt of the court. He said that many unpleasant incidents took place during the previous session, but this time those attempting any such things would have to face six-month punishment.

He commented that the PTI members were celebrating [the verdict] on the one hand, and they had announced filing an appeal against the verdict on the other. PML-N leaders Rana Mashhood said that Hamza Shehbaz is chief minister of Punjab and all doubts on the process would come to an end on tomorrow [Friday].

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that his party would approach Supreme Court against the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict pertaining to Punjab Chief Minister’s vote recount.

Speaking at a ceremony titled ‘Regime Change and it’s fallout on Pakistan, organized by Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) here on Thursday, Imran Khan said as how could Hamza remain the CM when the court declared the electoral process through which he came into power was as flawed. He said that what’s going in the largest province of the country for the last two-and-a-half months but no one bothered to take notice of it. He again claimed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) lost credibility, as pre-poll rigging were being carried out in the Punjab, and the PTI candidates were receiving phone calls from unknown numbers and being advised against running on PTI tickets but ECP unmoved.

Imran Khan warned that the Punjab elections would be more chaotic, as the situation in Punjab was different from Sindh.

He claimed that the current government was disastrous for the country and its institutions, hence the only way to get the country out of the prevailing untold crises was to hold early, free and fair polls. He said that major problem of poor countries was that the powerful remained unpunished, as they looted billions of dollars every year with complete immunity.

Imran Khan said that gravity of the situation could be judged that $7,000 billion of poor countries were lying in offshore companies. He said that big robbers have been given a clean-chit in Rs. 1,100 billion corruption cases because all facilities were being given to the ruling class.

Talking about cipher, the PTI chairman said that it was mentioned if Imran Khan was not fired, Pakistan would face the consequences.

“No self-respecting country will ever get such a cipher, as the threatening message is an insult to the country,” he added.

Imran Khan said that soon afterward, a political atmosphere changed altogether and his government allies jumped the ship and turncoats surfaced all of a sudden. He said that they now admitted on the floor of the house as from where they were getting the phone calls.

Therefore, he pressed that there should be a judicial inquiry of the cipher so as such mistakes could not be repeated; however, the regime change beneficiaries resisted it.

Imran Khan said that the corrupt people suited the US, because they could be easily controlled despite the fact that corrupt person even cannot be kept as a peon in America.

The PTI Chairman said that he kept on saying from day one that these thieves would gang up against him and would start blackmailing him to get NRO.

“Our government was also in the IMF program. We were also under pressure, but we neither overburdened the masses nor created such a chaotic situation and everything was going quite smoothly,” he added. However, he said these thieves reversed all hard gains and kept on destroying the state institutions to protect their own skins.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More