A tug of war for Punjab Assembly speaker, deputy slots

Published July 28, 2022
PTI leader Sibtain Khan. — Photo courtesy Facebook
PTI leader Sibtain Khan. — Photo courtesy Facebook

LAHORE: With the changing of the guard in the province, both the new ruling coalition of the PTI and the PML-Q and the opposition alliance comprising PML-N, PPP, Rah-e-Haq and some independent MPAs, have stepped up the consultation process to lay claim to the coveted offices of speaker and deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly.

The PTI-PML-Q coalition has so far finalised the name of Sibtain Khan for the post of speaker after Parvez Elahi, the previous holder of the office, was elected as chief minister.

A final decision will, however, be taken when PTI chairman Imran Khan visits Lahore on Thursday (today) to also finalise the members of Mr Elahi’s cabinet.

PTI ‘almost finalises’ Sibtain for the chair

Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s son Zain Qureshi, Mahmoodur Rashid, ex-CM Usman Buzdar and Mian Aslam Iqbal had also been lobbying for the speaker’s office. Sources say one of them may be accommodated if the office of deputy speaker falls vacant, as the ruling coalition is planning to move a no-confidence motion against the incumbent Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari.

A meeting of the PML-N and PPP parliamentary representatives was held under deposed chief minister Hamza Shehbaz for consultation on future politics in Punjab.

Besides deciding to give a tough time to the Elahi government, the meeting also discussed three names – ex-speaker Rana Iqbal, Sardar Awais Leghari and Malik Nadeem Kamran – as likely candidates for the office of the speaker.

The meeting also discussed a strategy to foil the likely no-trust motion against Mr Mazari and decided that in case of failure of their plan, a new candidate for the post would be selected after consulting all the allies.

Meanwhile, former Punjab home minister Ata Tarar, who was appointed special assistant to the prime minister in a development late in the evening, alleged that double standards were adopted to adjudicate Punjab chief minister election issue by the Supreme Court.

He told a press conference here on Wednesday that the people were seeing a ‘judicial’ chief minister for the first time as the constitutionally’ and ‘legally’ elected CM was removed through a court order. Various options were under consideration against the ‘judicial’ chief minister, he added.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2022

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