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Setback to Imran as Hamza Shehbaz takes oath as Punjab CM

Hamza secured 179 votes against 176 votes received by Pervaiz Elahi, a joint candidate of PTI and PML

Hamza Shehbaz, son of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was administered the oath of office on Saturday after he won an election to retain his seat as the Chief Minister of Punjab province.

Clad in a black sherwani, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman administered the oath at a ceremony held at the Governor’s House in Lahore.

Hamza secured 179 votes against 176 votes received by Pervaiz Elahi, a joint candidate of the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), deputy speaker Dost Mazari announced late Friday night.

Elahi had received 186 votes, including 176 from PTI and 10 from the PML, but the deputy speaker excluded the 10 votes of the PML after its chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain wrote a letter to his party members not to vote for Elahi, Xinhua news agency reported.

This is the second time that Hamza beat Elahi in the contest for the Punjab Chief Minister.

The election was held on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan after the PTI filed a petition in the apex court saying that Hamza has lost the majority in the house.

Earlier on April 16, he was elected as the new Chief Minister of Punjab with 197 votes, including 25 dissidents of the PTI.

On May 20, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-seated 25 dissident members of the provincial assembly of the PTI for voting fpr Hamza in the election against the orders of the party leadership.

Later the ECP allocated five reserved seats to the PTI and announced by-elections on the remaining 20 seats on July 17.

The PTI won 15 seats while PML-N got four seats and an independent candidate also won the election.

PML member Basharat Raja objected to the deputy speaker’s decision to exclude votes, saying that it is against the constitution of the country because only a leader in the assembly can pass such orders to its members while Hussain is not the party leader in the house.

The PTI and PML both announced that they will go to the Supreme Court of the country to challenge the verdict made by the deputy speaker.

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