LAHORE - PML-N candidate Mamnoon Hussain bagged record 313 votes in the Punjab Assembly while his rival Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmad of PTI could secure only 24. In the light of the formula of proportionate number of votes, Mamnoon obtained 54 votes and his opponent got only four.

As many as 351 Punjab legislators were enlisted as voters for the presidential election. Polling in the Punjab Assembly continued beyond the stipulated time of 3pm. Seven PML-Q and six PPP legislators boycotted the election. JI also took part in the voting. Of the total, 339 votes were polled while two of them rejected.

The election process was presided over by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal who was assisted by four members, Acting Secretary Punjab Assembly Rai Mumtaz Hussain Babar, Joint Election Commissioner Khaleequr Rehman, Provincial Election Commissioner Mehtab Anwar and Lahore High Court Registrar Sardar Naeem.

A tremendous activity of the legislators was seen inside and outside the assembly chamber while a very tight security was maintained inside and around the assembly building.

The special session of the assembly started at 10am with recitation from the holy Quran and Naat. The presiding officer, Chief Justice Bandiyal, made a brief address to the house at the outset, saying he felt honoured to perform this constitutional duty. He said: “We all are obliged to discharge our responsibilities as per the Constitution, law and justice. We, the judiciary, fully respect decisions of the Parliament.” The CJ said it was an important day when the legislators would elect the president of the country for the next term, according to the call of their conscience, principles and keeping in mind the national interests.

The polling continued smoothly even after the fixed time. The names of voters were called in alphabetical order. By the fixed time, more than 50 legislators were yet to cast votes, so the polling continued till 4pm. About 30 members were not allowed to cast vote as they possessed temporary cards of their assembly membership. Later, they got permanent cards and exercised their right to vote.

Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan and Asif Mahmood were polling agents for PML-N and PTI, respectively. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan found his assembly card missing as he was called to the rostrum for vote. However, an officer furnished him the same and he cast vote. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif left the chamber soon after casting his vote.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif congratulated Mamnoon Hussain on his election as the president of Pakistan. In a message of felicitation, the chief minister said the success of Mamnoon in the presidential election was the victory of democracy as well as democratic forces which deserved appreciation on the completion of this process in an efficient manner. He said the democratic process of the presidential election had been completed satisfactorily, adding PML-N had always promoted democratic norms and values and would continue its struggle for strengthening democracy in future as well.