Former provincial assembly speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo was elected unopposed as the new Balochistan chief minister on Friday, days after Jam Kamal Khan Alyani resigned from the position.
Of the 64 members who were eligible to vote in the election, 39 voted for Bizenjo — six more than the minimum needed — while members of three political parties, as well as an independent MPA, did not cast their votes.
Thirty-eight votes were cast by members of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and its allies in the provincial government and one by a member from the opposition.
The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Balochistan National Party-Mengal and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and independently elected member Nawab Aslam Raisani did not participate in the election.
Acting speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhel presided over the session.
This will be the second time Bizenjo will serve as Balochistan's chief minister.
Bizenjo's election as the province's chief executive follows a months-long political crisis, which ended with the resignation of former chief minister Alyani.
The crisis had started with Alyani's refusal to grant development funds to legislators followed by agitation from the latter.
A day after Alyani's resignation, Bizenjo had stepped down on Monday as speaker of the Balochistan Assembly and submitted his resignation to the assembly secretariat.
On Thursday, the likelihood of Bizenjo being elected the chief minister unopposed had emerged after members of the Balochistan Assembly had jointly submitted the nomination papers for the election of the new chief minister.
In a letter, acting speaker Musakhel had 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 had said, adding that Bizenjo was the only candidate for the post as no other nominee had emerged.
Who is Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo?
Bizenjo was born in the Awaran district of Balochistan in 1974.
He graduated from Balochistan University in 2000 and began his political career after joining the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid in 2002.
He remained a part of the provincial cabinet of Jam Mohammad Yousuf, Alyani's father and former Balochistan chief minister, from 2002 and 2007, and was elected as the deputy speaker of the Balochistan Assembly in 2013.
In 2015, he became the speaker of the provincial assembly after the resignation of then-speaker Jan Jamali.
When Nawab Sanaullah Zehri resigned as Balochistan's chief executive in 2018, Bizenjo succeeded him as the chief minister from January 13, 2018, to June 7, 2018.
After the 2018 general elections, he was elected as the Balochistan Assembly speaker and stepped down from the position on October 25.