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PPP move disappoints PML-Q

LAHORE, June 3: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid parliamentary party leader in Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Moonis Elahi has expressed his disappointment over the Pakistan People’s Party’s decision not to vote for joint opposition candidates in the election of speaker and deputy speaker.

Talking to reporters outside the assembly on Monday, Moonis Elahi said the PML-Q and PTI had jointly contested the election of the speaker and deputy speaker but the PPP (seven members) did not vote for them.

He said in case the leadership of both the PML-Q and the PTI agreed they would collaborate inside and outside the assembly on all issues, including the coming local bodies’ polls.

Interestingly, PML-Q’s deputy speaker candidate Sardar Waqas Hasan Mokal got 37 votes, two more than PTI’s candidate Rashid Hafeez for speaker (35 votes).

When asked how the Q managed to get two extra votes, Moonis said smiling: “Asked Shahbaz Sharif.”

Earlier, in the meeting of the parliamentary committee, the PPP members had decided to abstain from voting on the direction of the party leadership.

According to sources, PPP MNA Khurshid Shah had assured the PML-Q leadership that their legislators in Punjab would vote for the opposition candidates. However, during the PPP parliamentary party meeting the members were conveyed not to vote for any candidate in the election of speaker and deputy speaker.

Punjab PPP Secretary-General Tanvir Ashraf Kaira told Dawn that Moonis Elahi had asked for the vote for the opposition candidates but the PTI did not.

“Since in the Centre the PPP legislators supported the PML-N, we were expecting the PML-N would seek vote from us in Punjab but it did not. Therefore, we decided to abstain from the voting,” he said.