PTI’s Wasiq Abbasi was on Saturday elected the new deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly (PA) unopposed after the opposition parties boycotted the election.
The office of the deputy speaker fell vacant after Abbasi’s predecessor, Dost Muhammad Mazari, was removed from the post through a no-confidence movement on Friday.
The PTI leader emerged victorious after his rival and PPP MPA Ali Haider Gilani refused to submit his nomination papers. The deadline to hand in the documents was 5pm.
Talking to reporters in his office, assembly secretary Inayatullah Lak said that they waited for the opposition’s candidate till 5:15pm but he did not show up.
He also read out Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, 1997 which states: “At any time before 5pm, on the day preceding the day on which the election is to be held, a member may propose another member for election as Speaker by delivering to the Secretary a nomination paper 2 [set out in Part A & C of First Schedule] signed by him and accompanied by a statement by the member whose name is proposed that he is willing to serve as Speaker, if elected.”
Hence, Lak said that as per the rules Awan was elected the new deputy speaker.
In a statement after his victory, Awan thanked his party chief. “This election is not mine but for the narrative that Imran Khan created in the public.”
“We chose the lawful way and defeated them despite all the violent and pressure tactics they used,” he added.
Meanwhile, at a press conference later, PPP’s Gilani said that he had lost confidence in the House. “PTI MPAs themselves don’t trust their party anymore.
“Under these conditions, we have decided not to participate in the election of the deputy speaker,” he added.