Parvez Elahi to be removed as Punjab CM after new declaration, says Rana Sanaullah

According to Interior minister, Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman was to issue declaration at 4pm

Usman Bhatti

  • Declaration to be passed at 4pm: Sanaullah. 
  • PML-N leader says governor can request to impose governor rule. 
  • Fawad says vote of confidence can't be held today.

LAHORE: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday said that Parvez Elahi will not remain the chief minister of Punjab after the new declaration is passed. 

Speaking with Geo News, Sanaullah said that Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman will pass the declaration at 4pm after which Elahi will be removed as chief minister. 

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said that the governor of Punjab can also request the prime minister to impose governor rule. 

Responding to a question regarding the latest audio leak of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the minister said that the audio is a "reality".

"Videos of Imran Khan are also available and its content is the same as the audio," Sanaullah.

Speaking to a private television channel, Sanaullah said that the governor has asked CM Elahi to take a vote of confidence as per the constitution. He said that the governor has called a meeting at 4pm today for the vote of confidence.

If the vote of confidence is not taken by 4pm, then the chief minister will not hold office according to the constitution. "If the resistance continues, then the governor can be asked to impose governor rule.

He said that Hamza Shahbaz is the candidate for the CM post, however, the party will decide.

The interior minister also said that CM Elahi will not get any relief from the court, adding that the speaker's ruling is of no use. He said that the PTI is not dissolving the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly.

'Vote of confidence can't be held today'

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Fawad Chaudhry, while speaking to the media persons, said that the governor should refrain from taking unconstitutional measures. 

Fawad said as per the Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan's ruling, the vote of confidence cannot be held today. "The process of the no-confidence motion will start on Friday and will be completed by next week," he added. 

The PTI leader said that the assemblies will be dissolved after the no-trust move fails, adding that both assemblies will be dissolved simultaneously and not separately. 

PPP Hassan Murtaza meets governor 

On the other hand, PPP's parliamentary leader Hassan Murtaza met with the Punjab governor today. Both leaders discussed the political situation of the province. 

During the meeting, the leaders decided that the constitution will not be compromised. "Governor's order to take the vote of confidence is constitutional," said Murtaza. 

Punjab's crisis deepens 

As prevailing political unrest and constitutional crisis in Punjab further deepen on Tuesday, provincial assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan set aside Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman’s order and adjourned the ongoing session till Friday.

A day earlier, the Punjab governor summoned the provincial assembly's session on December 21 (Wednesday) for a vote of confidence. Before that, a no-confidence motion was submitted by the lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against CM Elahi.

According to a notification issued by the Punjab Governor’s Secretariat, “The governor Punjab is pleased to sign order summoning the provincial assembly of Punjab at 1600 hours (4pm) on Wednesday and requiring the chief minister of Punjab to obtain a vote of confidence in terms of Article 130(7) of the Constitution.”

In his ruling, Speaker Sibtain Khan said that until and unless the current session is prorogued, the governor cannot summon any fresh session — according to a three-member bench of the Lahore High Court in the Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo vs Federation of Pakistan case.

The speaker added that the session in terms of Article 130(7) of the Constitution — under which the governor can summon a session for a vote of confidence — can "be determined only in a session which is especially summoned for this purpose".

Khan added that such a session can only be summoned once the current session is prorogued by the speaker and cannot be summoned by the governor for Article 130(7) — vote of confidence — while the current session is going on.

The speaker further added that in line with the LHC's order, the chief minister should be given "not less than 10 days" to obtain the vote of confidence. "Procedurally, that is the minimum time which is mandatorily to be provided to the chief minister."

The governor is not empowered to summon the session requiring the chief minister to obtain a vote of confidence, he also said.

"In view of the above, the undersigned, in terms of Rule 209-A of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997, give ruling that the order of governor requiring chief minister to take vote of confidence, being not in accordance with aforementioned provisions of the Constitution and Rules of Procedure, may not be processed any further; hence, disposed of accordingly."

— Thumbnail image: APP/Twitter