LAHORE – Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was sworn in as the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, after winning the elections for the slot.
Elahi, a joint candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and PML-Q, secured 201 votes against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s nominee Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal Gujjar who clinched 147 votes.
As many as 349 lawmakers of the Punjab Assembly cast their votes through secret ballot and a decisive majority of them voted in favor of Pervaiz Elahi – who has served as the Chief Minister of Punjab.
Only a single vote got rejected in the process as announced by outgoing Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz has a strength of 162 in the house, however, its candidate secured 15 votes less than the expected figure.
Interestingly, Pakistan Peoples Party abstained from the voting process. The party has seven lawmakers in the house.
Former interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also did not turn up before the house and did not cast his vote. He is yet to take the oath of his office.
A commotion erupted during the crucial session of the Punjab Assembly during the polling process which continued when Rana Muhammad Iqbal was administering the oath to his successor.
The brawl between the members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz erupted when a few of the lawmakers waved their ballot papers before casting the vote.
The outgoing Speaker, Rana Muhammad Iqbal kept disciplining the lawmakers and even left his seat for 15 minutes during the polling process.
Elahi was nominated as the candidate by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf after both the parties joined hands at the federal level.
The lawmakers of the provincial house would be electing the Speaker through secret ballot and apparently, Elahi enjoys an upper hand in terms of numbers.
For the slot of deputy speaker, PTI has nominated Dost Mazari who will contest against PML-N’s Malik Muhammad Waris Kallu.
Statistically, Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz was the strongest party in the province, however, due to the support of independent candidates, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which has currently 121 lawmakers, is poised to win the elections.