Pakistan’s top court quashes re-election of premier’s son as chief minister

Photo Credit: The International News

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the re-election of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son as chief minister of Punjab, the country’s largest province, local media reported.

After a three-day hearing in the capital Islamabad, a three-judge bench declared Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, a joint candidate of the opposition parties, the new chief minister.

The ruling alliance boycotted the court proceedings after the judges refused its request for a full-bench hearing.

Hamza Shahbaz, the premier’s son, was re-elected as chief minister last week despite securing seven less votes than Elahi.

The deputy speaker, who presided over the re-election in Punjab Assembly, the provincial legislature, declared 10 votes of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid party, part of the joint opposition, null and void based on a letter written by the party’s chief instructing his lawmakers to abstain from voting.

The top court has ordered that the new chief minister take oath by midnight.

The much-anticipated judgment has snatched Punjab from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, dealing it a blow in its stronghold.

Sharif’s party is only left with the central government and not a single provincial government.

-AA

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