April 16, 2022
By Rehan Piracha & Ahmed Saeed
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hamza Shehbaz was elected chief minister with 197 votes after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and its ally Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid boycotted the Punjab Assembly session following a day of chaos and violence on the floor.
Announcing the result, Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari said Hamza Shehbaz polled 197 in his favour while no vote was cast for PML-Q leader and Speaker Pervaiz Elahi. Hamza Shehbaz crossed the miraculous figure of 186 votes with the support of dissident PTI members in the house of 371.
Meanwhile, as violence beoke out several times during the day, Elahi was injured in an attack by opposition members while PTI members assaulted Mazari on the floor of the house.
Mazari said the election represented a success of democracy and praised the positive role of the MPAs taking part in the voting despite the mayhem.
In a tweet, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz congratulated her cousin on winning the election.
“Brothers and sisters of Punjab, the mandate that was stolen from you during the 2018 election has been returned to you once more,” she said in her tweet. People will get their due rights, she added.
MAYHEM IN THE ASSEMBLY
Earlier, government and opposition members fought one another on the floor as the provincial assembly session for the election of the chief minister descended into chaos.
The session was originally scheduled for 11.30 am but had to be adjourned twice when members of the provincial assembly from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf assaulted Deputy Speaker Mazari as he arrived in the assembly hall to chair the session. The deputy speaker fell on the floor as PTI MPAs slapped and kicked him and encircled the presiding officer’s dais. The assembly security staff and opposition members came to the rescue of the deputy speaker who then returned to his chamber.
Later bells rang for the assembly members to be called in the house as the session could not began on its scheduled time of 11.30 am due to delay faced by members in reaching the assembly building. Despite there being a claim of tight security arrangements, female PTI MPAs entered the house with lotas and chanted slogans against dissident party members, leading to fist fights among opposition and treasury members on the assembly floor.
After the attack on the deputy speaker, the provincial police chief entered the assembly building along with a contingent of police commandos. A police contingent was deployed outside the deputy speaker’s chamber as well. Police officials entered the assembly hall and removed four MPAs who had been allegedly manhandling the deputy speaker.
PML-Q chief Pervaiz Elahi was injured after being attacked by the PML-N members in the hall. He was seen in videos shared on social media and news channels, sitting in his chamber with a bandaged arm, wearing an oxygen mask. He alleged that the opposition members had planned to kill him.
The PTI members occupied the dais of the speaker and placed lotas on the desk there, portraying him to be a turncoat. Personnel from the anti-riot force wearing full gear formed a human wall to separate opposition and treasury members in the assembly hall.