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Punjab political stalemate snowballing into constitutional crisis

"Sacked" Punjab governor says he will do his job until told otherwise by president; objects to Buzdar's resignation on technical ground
Updated 18 Apr, 2022 04:21pm
<p>Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema. File photo.</p>

Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema. File photo.

The political and legal impasse in Punjab has snowballed into a constitutional crisis as Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema has objected to Usman Buzdar's resignation as chief minister while the vote of no-confidence against Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervez Elahi is yet to take place.

The governor has sought the opinion of the Punjab advocate general over Buzdar's resignation. In his resignation, Buzdar addressed then prime minister Imran Khan instead of the president as is required by law.

The PML-N wants the resignation sent to the premier to be rejected and has demanded that Buzdar send another resignation - this one addressing the president.

On the other hand, the PML-N has decided to go to court over the no-confidence motion against sitting speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi of the PML-Q. Elahi resumed his responsibilities as PA Speaker after losing the election for chief minister to Hamza Shehbaz on Saturday.

The rules say that the voting on the no-confidence motion must take place within 3 to 7 days of it being tabled in the assembly. However, the vote has not taken place in 10 days.

Speaker Elahi has summoned the PA session on April 28 but he has yet to call the session for the vote.

The rules and procedures of the Punjab Assembly do not specify what has to be done in case the three- to seven-day requirement of holding the vote is not fulfilled.

Governor sacked?

Meanwhile on Sunday, Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema refused to administer the oath to newly elected chief minister Hamza Shehbaz, citing the PA secretary's report, that the Lahore court's instruction as well as the facts presented to him that throw the validity of the chief minister's election into question.

After his refusal to administer the oath, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb announced that the Punjab governor had been sacked.

However, Cheema told the media that only the president has the power to remove him, and not the prime minister. Until the president notified the order of his removal, Cheema added, he would continue to hold office.

Cheema was appointed governor earlier this month after the former PTI government removed incumbent Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.

پاکستان

Pervez Elahi

punjab

governor punjab

Vote of No Confidence

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