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Punjab still running without permanent chief minister

29 Apr, 2022
<p>A combination of file photos of Punjab CM-elect Hamza Shehbaz and Govenor Omar Sarfraz Cheema. Agencies</p>

A combination of file photos of Punjab CM-elect Hamza Shehbaz and Govenor Omar Sarfraz Cheema. Agencies

LAHORE. Around 29 days have passed and Punjab’s chief executive post is yet to be filled, as Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema on Thursday again refused to administer the oath to the chief minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz despite the high court’s order to do the necessary by April 28.

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday ordered Punjab Governor Cheema to administer the oath of office to Hamza or appoint a representative for the swearing-in by Thursday.

In the short order, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti had stated that the oath of the CM-elect Hamza “is being delayed on one pretext or the other, which is not only against democratic norms but also against the scheme of the Constitution.”

Sources said the governor took the decision after consulting legal experts.

The prevailing administrative crisis, which increased after PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz’s election as the chief minister in Punjab Assembly’s April 16 session, has also halted the important transfer posting in the province.

Cheema has also written a letter to President Alvi and sought the latter’s advice on the court orders. The governor has maintained that he would not do anything deviating from the Constitution.

Reacting to the development, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz slammed the PTI for making a “mockery” of the country’s largest populated province.

“These lunatics should either be admitted to insane asylums or face serious treason and contempt of court cases,” she said in a series of tweets.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Assembly’s session to vote on keeping or removing Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari has been adjourned till May 16.

Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi adjourned the session which was scheduled to be held at 11:30am today (Thursday). The PML-Q and PTI do not have the numbers needed to succeed in a no-confidence vote against the deputy speaker (186 out of the assembly’s 371 total MPAs).

It is to be noted that the province is still being governed by caretaker CM Usman Buzdar, who stepped down from his post ahead of the chief minister election.