LAHORE, Pakistan: Pakistan Muslim League-Qauid (PML-Q) leader Pervaiz Elahi has been elected as Speaker Punjab Assembly with 201 votes – way more than expected.
The PML-Q leader was up against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Iqbal Gujjar, who received 147 votes. It should be noted that the final count reveals that at least 15 PML-N MPAs must have voted for Elahi.
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A total of 354 MPAs cast their vote in the election. PTI candidate was expected to receive 185 votes, including 10 of the PML-Q, whereas the PML-N candidate was expected to get 162 votes.
PTI’s Dost Mazari and PML-N’s Waris Kalo will now go head to head for the post of deputy speaker.
The PPP had boycotted the election of speaker and deputy speaker because of internal party disagreements.
“We will not cast votes for the speaker and deputy speaker,” MPA Hassan Murtaza told Pakistani media outlet DawnNewsTV today. “We are not participating [in the election] because of the N-League’s attitude towards us,” he added.
The voting was held through secret ballot. CCTV cameras were turned off inside the Assembly to preserve the secrecy of MPAs’ votes. The lawmakers are not allowed to take their cellphones to the polling booth.
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Outgoing Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mohammad Iqbal cancelled the vote cast by PTI’s Sadiqa Khan for violating the code of conduct.
Sadiqa cast her vote after showing it to her fellows, prompting political opponents to rush to the speaker and demand that he cancel the vote.