Punjab CM election to be held on July 22: SC

“All parties have agreed to hold the election of the chief minister on July 22,” says CJP

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The election to elect new chief minister of Punjab will take place on July 22, announced Supreme Court after Punjab government and opposition parties reached consensus to hold election for the province’s chief executive after by-elections in 20 constituencies.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing of PTI plea requesting SC to set aside LHC verdict by declaring it illegal and unconstitutional. PTI had also prayed that court suspend the process of recounting till a decision on this plea.

“All parties have agreed to hold the election of the chief minister on July 22,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked while concluding the hearing on the case. The apex court said that detailed verdict of the case will be issued by tonight.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Imtiaz Siddiqui said that the Punjab government was ready for re-election of the province’s chief executive three to four days after the by-elections, whereas, Advocate General Punjab and Hamza Shahbaz have been consulted in this regard and Hamza Shahbaz remained the Chief Minister until July 17.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial while expressing happiness after both opposition groups reached consensus remarked that by the grace of almighty Allah, the political parties have agreed to some extent and this is a success for both sides.

Meanwhile, PTI lawyer Babar Awan while informing the court said that former prime minister and party chairman Imran Khan has been contacted and he has accepted Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as the Chief Minister till re-election, while the IG, Chief Secretary and the Election Commission should be ordered to act in accordance with the law.

To which, the CJP said that he would order to ensure implementation of the code of conduct of the Election Commission.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said that the code of conduct of the Election Commission exists to which Babar Awan said that his party has reservations over the Election Commission.

The Chief Justice asked if the Chief Minister intends to rig election, while Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked both parties to contest election in a fair manner and the one whoever is better will win. To this, Hamza Shahbaz said that he is a political worker and have served sentences.

Justice Ijazul Hassan said that the court will issue a general order and will not get involved in small matters and it is better not to make the case a family dispute, small matters happen in family issues.

Meanwhile, Punjab CM Hamza Shahbaz and Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi agreed on July 22 date for re-election and the apex court pronounced final verdict after an agreement between the two.

At the outset of the hearing, Babar Awan appeared before the court while PTI s counsel attended the hearing through video link. In his arguments, Babar Awan told the court that all of the PTI lawmakers were not present in Lahore as some were on Hajj pilgrimage while others were are busy attending family events. To this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that he doesn t agree with waiting before the voting if any member is absent.