Lahore court accepts PTI pleas against Hamza Shehbaz’s election

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In a major setback to the PML-N government in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday accepted PTI appeals filed against the election of Hamza Shehbaz as Chief Minister.

A larger bench of the LHC, headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan and comprising Justices Shahid Jamil, Shehram Sarwar, Sajid Mehmood Sethi and Tariq Saleem Sheikh, issued the verdict with 4-1, The News reported.

Justice Sethi dissented with his fellow judges.

The PTI and PML-Q had challenged the election of Hamza Shehbaz, son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, took place on April 16 in a chaotic session.

The LHC order is likely to trigger a new crisis in the country’s largest province as the PTI leaders have said that the election for Chief Minister will be held again, The News reported.

According to a report, the same candidates, Hamza Shehbaz and Pervez Elahi, will run for the position again. For the vote of confidence, the new CM must receive 186 votes or half of the House’s total strength.

If the court restores the Punjab Assembly to the April 16 situation, the deputy speaker will oversee the election proceedings.

If a no-confidence motion is filed against him, the proceedings will be presided over by a panel of chairmen.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, the Election Commission of Pakistan has deposed 25 PTI defectors.

By-elections for the 20 vacant seats will be held on July 17, and the campaign is well underway.

The opposition alliance will gain five more seats following the implementation of the apex court’s order for notification of members on reserved seats.

At the time of the election for the Chief Minister’s post, 351 members will vote, with the remaining 20 members joining the Assembly after the by-elections.

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