Members of the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday jointly submitted the nomination papers of former speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo for the province's new chief executive.
In a letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Musakhel said that five nomination papers were submitted to the assembly secretariat within the stipulated timeframe.
"All five papers nominated Bizenjo as the new chief minister, and were found to be valid after scrutiny," he said, adding that Bizenjo was the only candidate for the post as no other nominee had emerged.
Balochistan Governor Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha has summoned a session of the Balochistan Assembly on Oct 29 (Friday) for the election of the new leader of the house and its speaker.
The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), which has 24 members in a house of 65, has already nominated Bizenjo for the post of chief minister and Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali for that of speaker, which fell vacant after the former had resigned.
Speaking to the media after filing the nomination papers, BAP spokesperson Abdul Rehman Khetran said that this will be a "historic" government where all 65 members of the provincial assembly will be on the same page.
He said that he and senior BAP leader Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani had proposed and seconded Bizenjo as the new chief minister. He said that the new chief minister will be "within the reach" of the common man and everyone will be respected.
He went on to say that each MPA will be considered the chief minister of their constituency, and vowed to empower them so that they can solve the issues people are facing.
Meanwhile, Bizenjo vowed to bring change on ground once he is elected as chief minister. He also thanked former Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, who resigned as the chief minister on Sunday, for the role he played in saving the BAP.
Alyani, in a statement, said that the BAP "stands together and firm on all consensus decisions".
"Our differences were before my resignation, but not after that. The party has no groupings and we all stand as one [...] my good wishes for Bizenjo and Jamali," he said.
Earlier, the PTI’s parliamentary party in the house had nominated Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind as its candidate for the post of chief minister and Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail for the position of speaker.
However, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday along with Sardar Rind, Senator Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, acting president of BAP Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi and Bizenjo, Defence Minister Khattak said the PTI would extend full support to the BAP candidate for the position of leader of the house.
“PTI is an ally of the BAP and had supported it when coalition government was formed in Balochistan after the 2018 elections,” he said, adding that BAP and PTI were also allies in the Senate and National Assembly and BAP is a partner in the coalition government at the federal level.
Khattak said he himself belonged to the PTI and would not tolerate that leadership of its Balochistan chapter is bypassed in policy matters. “I hope PTI will not be ignored as an ally of BAP in future as was done by the previous government and hope it will be given the honour and respect that it deserves as an ally,” he said.
He said that if the new government did not deliver on its promises then PTI’s provincial leader Sardar Rind would be free to take any decision, but “we hope that the new government will run its affairs with consensus and consultation”.
On Monday, Bizenjo had stepped down as speaker of the Balochistan Assembly and submitted his resignation to the assembly secretariat.
The development had come a day after embattled Alyani had done the same, ending a two-month-long political crisis that started with the ex-CM's refusal to grant development funds to legislators followed by agitation from the latter.