Polls for Punjab CM slot on 22nd

-Supreme Court verdict comes after PTI, PML-Q agree to let Hamza remain CM till election date 
-Hamza, Elahi accept SC ruling, terming it ‘very good decision’ 
-Pervez Elahi sees presence of all members of the House during CM election

Anzal Amin from Islamabad & Abid Usman from Lahore

The Supreme Court Friday announced that the re-election for the Punjab chief minister’s slot would be held on July 22 — after the provincial government, PTI, and PML-Q reached a consensus on the matter.
The PTI had filed a plea in the top court seeking the annulment of the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision that had ordered the governor to hold the re-count for the Punjab CM’s slot yesterday at 4pm.
During Friday’s hearing, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervez Elahi — a contender for the CM’s slot — had initially agreed that Hamza Shahbaz could remain the chief minister till July 17, but the PTI disagreed.
In a bid to break the deadlock, the top court directed Elahi to speak to PTI Chairman Imran Khan and come up with a solution — as it adjourned the hearing for the third time.
After the hearing resumed, all the parties agreed that Hamza would remain the chief minister till the re-election — July 22.
In a 4-1 split decision a day earlier, the LHC had wrapped up PTI’s case against Hamza’s election to the CM’s slot, while ordering a recount of the votes cast during the Punjab chief executive’s election but with the exclusion of 25 PTI dissidents’ votes, in line with the apex court’s interpretation of Article 63(A).
But in its bid to remove Hamza from the post of Punjab chief minister, PTI had earlier in the day approached the SC to challenge the orders of the LHC to hold a vote recount on the CM poll — which was held on April 16.
The SC accepted the plea for an immediate hearing and formed a three-member bench. The hearing was headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, while Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail were part of the bench, too.
Following the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the re-election of Punjab chief minister, provincial assembly Speaker Pervez Elahi said that the session of will be held as per rules without political interference and police intervention.
Terming the verdict a “very good decision”, Elahi said that the apex court accepted all the demands put forward by them.
“The number of members of the House will be completed by July 22 and then re-election will be held,” he said, adding that he hoped that the mutual consensus shown in court would be visible in the assembly on July 22.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Hamza Shahbaz, told the media that on July 17 the people will cast vote in the by-polls in favour of whoever they want in government.
Commenting on the developments in Punjab, the CM said in the last three months several constitutional crises were witnessed which can place the province at number one in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Hamza, while commenting on yesterday’s verdict, said that he informed the apex court that if he did not have numbers he wouldn’t be standing in the court.
“PTI candidates were standing by my side, therefore I told the court that re-elections can be held today,” he said, adding that no matter whatever happens “I will continue to work for the betterment of the people”.
Regarding the increase in the price of petroleum products, announced a day earlier, the CM said that the coalition government took this decision with a heavy heart.
“The decision to increase the price of petroleum products isn’t political it was taken to save the country from bankruptcy,” he said.
Further, the chief minister said he was “working day and night” to provide relief to the masses. He added that whatever the outcome of the July 17 by-election, the party would accept it.
Hamza said that after the by-election results are in, whomever the people choose should become the chief minister.