Sarfraz Bugti becomes Balochistan CM ‘unopposed’

Published March 2, 2024
Sarfraz Bugti speaks to the media outside the Balochistan Assembly, on Friday.—PPI
Sarfraz Bugti speaks to the media outside the Balochistan Assembly, on Friday.—PPI

QUETTA: Months after stepping down as the caretaker interior minister, Sarfraz Bugti has been elected unopposed as the new Balochistan chief minister.

The leader, who recent­ly joined the PPP and enjoyed the support of PML-N, submitted his nomi­­nation papers with Assembly Secretary Tahir Shah on Friday. He was proposed by PPP leader and former chief minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and PML-N leader Nawab Gangeez Khan Marri.

No other candidate filed nomination papers till the deadline, which expired at 5pm.

Mr Bugti’s nomination papers were accepted after scrutiny by the secretary, who also announced that he had been elected unopposed.

Official announcement to be made in assembly today

The official announcement of Mr Bugti’s election as the leader of the house will be made during the assembly session today.

He is also expected to take the oath later in the day. Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Kakar will administer the oath in a ceremony at Governor House.

In December, Mr Bugti resigned from the federal cabinet and joined PPP. He contested the election on the party’s ticket and won from the PB-10 constituency in Dera Bugti.

PPP nominates Bugti

Earlier on Friday, PPP’s Balochistan chapter president, Mir Changez Khan Jamali, announced Mr Bugti’s nomination as the party’s candidate for the chief minister.

Addressing a press conference on the assembly premises after returning to Quetta from Islamabad, Mr Jamali said PPP leaders Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari had nominated Mr Bugti after lengthy discussions with senior party leaders at federal and provincial levels.

“The party’s high command’s decision selecting Sarfraz Bugti for the top slot of Balochistan chief minister is acceptable to all of us,” Mr Jamali said and thanked Mr Bhutto-Zardari and other leaders for nominating Mr Bugti.

He also thanked PML-N for supporting his party’s nominee.

Mr Jamali added that after the Feb 8 general elections, PPP emerged as the largest party in Balochistan and is forming a coalition government with PML-N and BAP in the province.

Earlier, speaking to the media, the chief minister-elect thanked the party leadership and called the nomination “an honour”.

Mr Bugti added that as chief minister, he would take all political parties on board to resolve Balochistan’s issues and would strive for the development and prosperity of the province.

He also vowed to improve governance, adding that the PPP believes in democracy and dialogue to resolve all issues.

The upcoming coalition government would also talk to opposition parties for the development of Balochistan, he added.

“Consensus would be evolved with opposition to take Balochistan forward and my door would always be open for everyone,” added Mr Bugti.

A road map would be shared for sustainable development and resolving common challenges, the CM-elect said while replying to a question.

Responding to another question about a formula for power-sharing under which a PPP and PML-N leader will hold the CM post for two and a half years each, Mr Bugti said he was not aware of any such decision.

“The central leadership would know about it, but we have no idea,” he said.

Talking about an alliance with JUI-F, Mr Bugti said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s party has already decided not to join the government and instead sit on opposition benches.

PPP leaders Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Mir Sadiq Umrani, Rozi Khan Kakar, Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, Mir Ali Madad Jattak, Sardar Omer Gorgage, Mir Liaquat Lehri, Obaid Gorgage, Sardar Sarbaland Khan Jogezai and other elected MPAs also attended the press conference.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2024

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