Beleaguered Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and the Jahangir Tareen group on Friday decided to move the Supreme Court against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision that de-seated 25 dissident lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who defected in the CM’s election.

The decision to move the apex court was taken during a meeting of Hamza held with the members of the disgruntled PTI members, an insider from the group revealed. Former lawmakers of the Punjab Assembly who were de-notified by the ECP earlier this month were also in attendance.

The insider said that in order to salvage the uncertain political future of the disqualified lawmakers, the two sides deliberated upon ways in which legal nuts and bolts could be tapped into, particularly the observations made by the CJP during the hearings of presidential reference on the interpretation of Article 63-A.

The de-seated MPAs belonging to Jahangir Tareen, who feel aggrieved by the ECP’s decision, were of the view that the decision of the electoral watchdog was arbitrary in nature, underscoring that the apex court had held a completely different opinion in the matter.

“Most of the members in the Tareen group had won the election as independents,” Faisal Hayat Jabboana, dissident PTI member of the Tareen group, said.

Meanwhile, observers point out that in case the PML-N decides to go to a fresh election, the allocation of five vacant reserved seats will assume an important role. Of the 25 de-seated PTI MPAs, five were elected on reserved seats, which would be distributed among parties on the basis of their current strength in the PA.

The Punjab Assembly’s current strength is 346: the PTI has 158 lawmakers, its ally PML-Q 10, the PML-N 165, PPP seven, five independents and one Rah-i-Haq Party.

The ECP’s verdict, following the apex court’s majority opinion on defection, had thrown the fate of the newly elected chief minister Hamza Shehbaz, who clinched the power by peeling off lawmakers from the PTI, into a new chapter of uncertainty.

It may be recalled that earlier on Monday, the PTI had approached the ECP to stop Hamza from working as the chief minister after the ECP de-seated 25 dissident members of the Punjab Assembly.

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