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Jam Kamal elected Balochistan CM

August 19, 2018

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QUETTA: Jam Mir Kamal Khan Alyani, the joint candidate of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP)-led six-party alliance, was elected leader of the house with majority votes in the Balochistan Assembly here on Saturday.

He will take the oath as the 16th chief minister of Balochistan at a ceremony in Governor House on Sunday.

Jam Kamal, president of BAP, the majority party in the provincial party, was the joint candidate of the six-party alliance comprising his party, the Awami National Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Hazara Dem­ocratic Party, Balo­chistan National Party-Awami and Jamhoori Watan Party.

The opposition’s two-party alliance — Balochistan National Party-Mengal and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal — had fielded Mir Younis Aziz Zehri as its candidate for the office of chief minister.

Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo conducted the election for leader of the house through division of the house. Jam Kamal got 39 votes in the house of 65 members, while Younis Zehri received 20 votes.

The lone MPA of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party cast his vote in favour of the opposition candidate.

But Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Nawab Sanaullah Zehri cast his vote in favour of Jam Kamal. So did his brother Mir Inayatullah Zehri who has joined the PTI after being elected MPA as an independent candidate.

Four other independent candidates have already joined BAP which has 24 members in the assembly after allotment of women and minority reserved seats to the party. Addressing the assembly session after being elected leader of the house, Jam Kamal said that he would take all coalition partners on board on the affairs of the province and also consult opposition members for resolving problems faced by the people of the province.

He said that many members sitting in the house had a negative impression about the Centre due to Islamabad’s attitude towards Balochistan.

In a veiled reference to the previous PML-N government in which Jam Kamal had worked as a minister before resigning and joining the newly formed BAP, the CM-elect said he and other politicians (of Balochistan) had worked as federal ministers and had relations with various prime ministers and presidents, yet they had remained helpless in resolving issues confronting the province (due to apathy of the Centre).

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2018