Pervaiz Elahi poised to become Punjab Speaker as political jockeying continues

  • Ch Pervaiz Elahi would have to give up two NA seats to become Speaker

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader and former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is reportedly expected to assume charge as the speaker of the Punjab Assembly after bagging the support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

According to well-placed sources, the PTI leadership agreed to the suggestion as it wants to bring a strong candidate at the position; Imran Khan-led party leads against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with a slight margin in the provincial assembly and the Monday meeting between the Chaudhries and Imran Khan was crucial in this regard.

PTI is between a rock and a hard place because if Chaudhry becomes the speaker of Punjab Assembly, he will have to give up his two National Assembly seats which will bring down the PTI’s total count.

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PTI leadership, especially the billionaire Jahangir Khan Tareen, has been busy holding meetings with allied parties and independents in a bid to cajole them for paving way for Imran Khan to become the next chief executive of the country.

At present, the PTI claims it has gained the support of 17 independents and PML-Q MPAs which, in addition to its own 123 members elected to the provincial house, brings its total tally to 149 members in the assembly of 295. The figure is magical as PTI can form its first-ever government in a province with a population of 110 million.

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On the other hand, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah, whose party gained 129 seats in the provincial assembly, says they have enough MPAs, including independents, to form a government; the former law minister said they were not revealing their identities on purpose.