In a surprise move, Punjab Assembly
Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has summoned the PA session on Sunday (today)
while cancelling the previous date of the assembly session scheduled for May
30.

This is for the third time that the date of
the PA session has been changed by the speaker. It was scheduled for the first
week of May, but later he gave the date of May 16, and just a few days before
its scheduled session, the date of May 30 was given. Now after a dramatic
change in the numbers game in the PA, following the de-seating of 25 PTI
dissident MPAs who were siding with the PMLN, Elahi has summoned the PA session
just on the notice of one day.

It is pertinent to mention here that most of the MPAs hailing from
remote districts of Punjab are not expected to attend the session taking place
today. The session will be presided over by Elahi who just a day ago issued a
statement that he would dissolve the PA within half an hour after getting
elected as CM. The PTI and the PMLQ, two opposition components in the PA,
jointly form the strength of 168 (158 of PTI and 10 of PMLQ). If the vote of
Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari, the deputy speaker who is supporting the PMLN now, is
considered minus from the PTI tally, the joint PTI and PMLQ strength could
reduce to 167.

Hamza Shehbaz, if asked to prove majority in the House, needs to
win the election even by a margin of one vote and does not have to prove the
186 members figure, as it would be the second round of the CM election. The
PMLN has a total of 166 MPAs, but five of its members are dissidents. With the
safe support of 161 MPAs now, Hamza earns the support of seven PPP MPAs and
four independents as well as one from the Rah-e-Haq Party, which takes the
present treasury benches strength to 173.

The PMLN is still leading the contest apparently and if even two
or three dissident MPAs end their differences with the parent party, the PMLN
could survive, though not with a big margin. The PA speaker is expected to take
important decisions concerning the no-confidence move against him as well as
his deputy, though both represent rival camps now. The situation is also
interesting because at present, Punjab has no governor and in case the House
passes any bill, it could also wait for another two weeks to reach the governor
who is the signing authority.

A very noisy PA session is expected today as the temperature is
high on both sides. A recent statement of former prime minister Imran Khan
regarding Maryam Nawaz has also been condemned and the PMLN has submitted a
resolution in the PA against it.

 

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2022-05-22

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