Governor Balighur Rehman on Saturday administered oath to re-elected Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, following a day of turmoil and political tension which ultimately resulted in the defeat of PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for a second time.

Ministers, leaders of PML-N, office bearers, workers, members of national and provincial assembly and high officials were present at the oath-taking ceremony.

Slogans of “Aik Zardari Sab Pe Bhaari” (one Zardari outweighs them all) were heard soon after Hamza took the oath.

The PML-N on Friday won a dramatic fashion against the PTI that few had predicted in the Punjab chief minister’s election, retaining the throne of Punjab after surviving its closest brush with loss in the political heartland.

Warmed in the nick of time by a letter from PML-Q head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain — instructing his MPAs to vote for PML-N’s candidate — Hamza was declared a victor after Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari ruled that PML-Q members’ votes were not counted in the light of party head’s letter.

According to Mazari, Hamza received 179 votes whereas Elahi garnered 176 votes, but only after 10 votes of Elahi’s own party were not counted, which turned the tables in Hamza’s favour.

In line with the ruling of the Supreme Court verdict on Article 63-A related to the defection clause, the deputy speaker said he had rejected the votes of PML-Q lawmakers.

Ironically, the apex court’s verdict had served as the legal ground to trigger a second round of elections for the chief minister’s office.

In accordance with the order by the apex court, the run-off polls took place five days after the by-polls on 20 seats that fell vacant after the disqualification of PTI defectors who voted for Hamza, in a new, reconstituted House with a changed electoral college.


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