Punjab CM re-election on July 22: SC

SC seeks NAB response on amendments in law

ISLAMABAD, Jul 01 (APP): The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that election for the Punjab chief minister would be held on July 22 after the rival parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) reached a consensus on the matter.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail heard the petition filed by the PTI earlier in the day against the Lahore High Court’s decision.

, calling it ‘flawed’.

During the course of proceedings, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, who was the PTI’s candidate for chief minister, also appeared before the court through video link as the PTI sought to defer the Punjab Assembly proceedings by seven days.

PTI’s counsel Babar Awan said the PTI had reservations against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Upon this, Chief Justice Bandial said orders would be issued regarding the implementation of the election code of conduct.

He said the court would issue a general order and that the parties should not waste time on small matters.

Addressing Hamza Shehbaz and Pervez Elahi, the chief justice said it would be better if they did not make the case a family dispute.

PTI lawyer Imtiaz Siddiqui said consultation was held with the Advocate General of Punjab and Hamza’s lawyer, and a consensus was reached on Hamza staying the CM till July 17.

Upon this, the chief justice remarked that the court was glad that both the parties had reached a consensus. It was a success for both sides, which had been at odds for three months and the matter had finally been resolved in the apex court in three hours.

He asked Hamza whether he had any intentions of rigging in the polls.

Hamza replied that he would compete in the assembly and whoever was the suitable candidate would win. He was a political worker and had spent years in jail, and he would ensure free and fair elections were held, he added.

Chief Justice Bandial said the court would use words acceptable to both parties in its written order.

He then announced that the elections for the chief minister would be held on July 22, adding that Hamza would remain the CM until then.

Justice Ahsan stated that the two parties should stop complicating the matter, adding that
they were not here to create a constitutional crisis.