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PM Imran Khan Nominates Parvez Elahi As Punjab CM, Usman Buzdar Resigns

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday decided to nominate Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi for the slot of Punjab Chief Minister by replacing Sardar Usman Buzdar.

The sudden announcement comes as the opposition parties tabled the no-trust motion against PM Imran Khan in the National Assembly on Monday. In the Punjab province, Opposition also submitted the no-confidence motion against CM Sardar Buzdar in Punjab Assembly.

In another development, Minister for Housing and Works Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Cheema resigned from his office on Monday. He announced his resignation just minutes after the no-confidence motion was tabled against the prime minister in the National Assembly. Cheema who belongs to PML-Q, an important ally of the PTI government in the Centre and Punjab, had earlier sought permission from the party president, Shujat, to step down as the federal minister.

“I have also decided to vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against the prime minister. I am not sure what the party will decide, but Chaudhry Shujat and Parvez Elahi will make the same decision,” Cheema told reporters.

Earlier, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to nominate Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Parvez Elahi for slot of Chief Minister Punjab.  In a tweet, the minister said all the matters had been sorted out during a meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

In a ‘surprise’ move

| Opposition moves no-confidence resolution against Imran Khan in
National Assembly | PML-Q’s Tariq Cheema quits federal cabinet

He said the PML-Q showed confidence in the leadership of Imran Khan and announced support for him ahead of the no-trust motion tabled in the National Assembly earlier in the day. “Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister,” he added.

Also, a delegation of the government’s representatives led by Vice Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with Speaker Punjab Assembly and the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in Islamabad on Monday. The meeting held at the residence of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in Islamabad focused on the current political situation in the country. Planning Minister Asad Umar and federal ministers Tariq Bashir Cheema and Moonis Elahi were also present.

On the other hand, Opposition parties in the National Assembly Monday tabled a joint resolution for the vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan, challenging the majority of the PTI-led coalition government in the 341-seat House (excluding a seat that fell vacant due to demise of MNA Khayal Zaman Orakzai).

The resolution, carrying names of 152 movers, was presented by Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif under Article 95(1) of the Constitution, read with rule 37 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007.

Around 161 members of the Opposition were present in the House when the motion was moved. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri was in the Chair.

“This House is of the view that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan, has lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, therefore he should cease to hold office,” the resolution said.

Soon after the motion was tabled, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House to meet again on Thursday at 4:00pm to hold mandatory debate on the no-confidence resolution.

Since the opposition parties submitted the no-trust move with the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8, both treasury and opposition benches claimed a majority to defeat each other on this front in the Lower House of the Parliament.

As per the official data placed on the National Assembly’s website, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has a total of 155 seats (General 122, Reserved 28 and Minority 5), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) 84 seats (General 66, Reserved 16 and Minority 2), Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) 56 seats (General 45, Reserved 9 and Minority 2), Independent MNAs four seats, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan (MMAP) 15 seats (General 12, Reserved 2 and Minority 1), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) five seats (General 4 and Reserved 1),  Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQMP) seven seats (General 6 and Reserved 1), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) three seats (General 2 and Reserved 1), Awami Muslim League Pakistan (AMLP) one seat, Balochistan National Party (BNP) four seats (General 3 and Reserved 1),  Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) five seats (General 4 and Reserved 1), Awami National Party (ANP) one seat, Jamhoori Wattan Party  (JWP) one seat.

The ruling PTI had formed the government in alliance with the MQMP, PML-Q, BAP, GDA, AMLP, JWP and an independent candidate after securing majority seats in the general election-2018.

If looked into the country’s Parliamentary history, no prime minister has so far been removed through a no-confidence vote.

In the past, such motions had been tabled against two prime ministers. The first resolution was moved in 1989 against the then prime minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the second in 2006 to oust PM Shaukat Aziz, but they both had survived the vote. Earlier, Parliamentary Secretary Makhoom Zain Qureshi introduced a bill further to amend the Constitution [The Constitution (26th Amendment) Bill, 2022] in the House.

In Punjab, Opposition members have filed a no confidence motion against Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. The motion was filed by Opposition members Rana Mashood, Samiullah Khan, Mian Naseer amongst others in the Provincial Assembly Secretariat on Monday. After filing of No Confidence motion, the Chief Minister cannot dissolve the Provincial Assembly, while the Speaker is bound to convene Assembly meeting within fourteen days.