Amid widespread confusion over the numbers of the two major parties of Punjab — PTI and PML-N — a crucial session of the Punjab Assembly (PA) will be held on Friday (today) at 4 pm under the chairmanship of Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari.

On the eve of the CM’s election, Mazari wrote a letter to the chief secretary and inspector-general of police, seeking security for today’s session.

The deputy speaker requested that security officials should be deployed within the boundaries and inside the premises of the assembly hall to ward off any untoward incident.

Mazari said that all security arrangements should be made so that the second poll for the CM election is held in an amicable manner.

Following the requisition, the Punjab police devised a security plan according to the plan, 1,400 security personnel will be deployed inside and outside the Punjab Assembly.

The police said that the security officials are being deployed in order to ensure that the proceeding of the session are held peacefully while the protection of all members of the Parliament is also a major concern.

THE NUMBER GAME: The clear victory of PTI in the Punjab by-polls had turned around the number game in the Punjab Assembly, with Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi now most likely to replace Hamza Shehbaz as the new chief minister.

Almost all the turncoats who joined the PML-N and voted for Hamza lost to the PTI candidates. The PTI grabbed 15 of the total 20 seats in the Punjab by-polls, while PML-N won four seats and the remaining one seat went to an independent candidate.

Before the by-polls, the PTI and PML-Q had already jointly attained the strength of 173 (163 of PTI and 10 of PML-Q).

Now, with 15 additional seats, this strength has reached 188 – two more than the simple majority of 186. This means the PTI and PML-Q have crossed that landmark.

One independent MPA will likely be part of the new ruling coalition.

On the other hand, the ruling coalition has 179 members with PML-N coming in as the second largest party in the Punjab Assembly with 164 members (four new), PPP with seven, three independents and one member of the Pakistan Rah-e-Haq party.

Two MPAs of PML-N, including Jaleel Sharaqpuri and Faisal Niazi, had resigned while Chaudhry Nisar is unlikely to vote for any of the candidates. Two seats are vacant in the House of 371 as a result of the resignation of PML-N MPAs. 

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