CM retains Vote of Confidence in PA

-Parvez Elahi maintains Punjab’s top slot after receiving enough Votes in the House
-Opposition lawmakers walkout PA after impairing the Session for 3rd consecutive day
-LHC observed CM should have round-the-clock Confidence of the House

By Abid Usman

LAHORE: Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, in a typically chaotic session held during early hours of Thursday, managed to get a vote of confidence from the Punjab Assembly after the opposition walked out claiming that the vote was “bulldozed” and “unconstitutional”.
Speaker Sibtain Khan, who presided the session, said that Elahi had received 186 votes — exactly the number required to retain his position and one less than 187 that PTI leaders had claimed to have prior to voting.
Ahead of the voting, government and opposition lawmakers had renewed hostilities around the speaker’s dais and engaged each other in angry jostling. Shortly after, the opposition MPAs staged a boycott of the session and walked out.
Outside the Punjab Assembly, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah labelled the session’s proceedings “against the rules and Constitution”, and accused the speaker of “bulldozing” the vote of confidence.
Sanaullah and another PML-N leader Ata Tarar said that the vote of confidence will be challenged in the court.
Earlier, PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that the PTI-PML-Q coalition had the support of 187 MPAs — a claim reiterated by Mian Mahmoodur Rashid.
The PA session, which began around 5pm on Wednesday, witnessed chaos for a third day running as the opposition reiterated its demand for Elahi to seek the confidence vote.
The session began hours after the Lahore High Court (LHC) extended the “interim relief” of reinstating Elahi as chief minister till Jan 12, adding that the chief minister couldn’t dissolve assembly until 9am today. The provincial chief executive took the confidence vote after LHC ruled that the governor had the authority to ask the chief minister to seek the trust of the house even during an ongoing session.
The court, earlier in the day, had said that the chief minister should have the support of 186 lawmakers — the required number for being elected as the CM — round the clock.