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Pakistan: Sunni Council boycotts Punjab Assembly session as voting to elect CM begins

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Lahore | February 26, 2024 2:26:08 PM IST
The Punjab Assembly session convened on Monday to elect the Chief Minister took an unexpected turn as members of the opposition Sunni Ittehad Council (comprising of PTI backed independents) opted to boycott the proceedings, creating a tumultuous atmosphere, ARY News reported.

The session, presided over by newly-elected Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan, commenced at 11:30 am with a strict focus on the chief ministerial elections, forbidding lawmakers from addressing the session.

Speaker of the Punjab Assembly also said Monday''s session will resume despite members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) walking out in protest.

In response to the SIC members walking out, Speaker Khan swiftly formed a committee, consisting of Khawaja Salman Rafique, Salman Nazeer, Samiullah, and Khalil Tahir Sindhu, tasked with persuading the legislators to return to the assembly, as reported by ARY News.

The Chief Ministerial contest unfolded between PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Rana Aftab Ahmed of the Sunni Ittehad Council.

Notably, SIC, at the eleventh hour, nominated Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan as its candidate due to the provincial police''s attempt to arrest its initial nominee, Mian Aslam Iqbal.

The PML-N, with a significant number of candidates, added intensity to the election, considering its clear majority in the Punjab Assembly.

Friday''s oath-taking ceremony saw 321 out of 371 members taking their oaths. The competitive nature of the election reflected in the victory of PML-N in the Punjab Assembly speaker and deputy speaker elections the previous day, solidifying the party''s dominance in the house.

Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan secured the position of PA Speaker with an overwhelming 224 votes out of the total 327 cast, while Malik Zaheer Ahmed Channer, the PML-N candidate for deputy speaker, triumphed against Mohammad Moinuddin from the Sunni Ittehad Council, garnering 220 votes, ARY News reported. (ANI)

 
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