QUETTA : The Balochistan Assembly on Saturday elected Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo the new chief minister of the province, days after former chief minister Sanaullah Zehri stepped down ahead of a no-confidence motion against him.
The election took place amid beefed up security in and around the assembly building.
The contest was held between Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid candidate Bizenjo and Pashtunkhuwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) member Agha Liaquat. Another PkMap candidate member Abdul Rahim Ziyaratwal, who had also filed his nominations, had withdrawn from the race.
Following the in-house election, the new leader of the house will take oath of his office at 5 pm.
Bizenjo, besides his party, had the complete support of disgruntled members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl).
Bizenjo belongs to the troubled Awaran district of Balochistan and was elected on a PML-Q ticket during general elections 2013. He won the seat, obtaining only 544 of the 57,666 registered votes in the constituency as turnout was an abysmal 1.18 per cent since the separatists had called for a boycott of the elections.
PML N, Q nominate Quddus Bizenjo was born in Awaran on January 1, 1974, and contested elections for the first time in 2002. He was elected from the PB-41 constituency. The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid candidate remained Deputy Speaker from 2013-15.
National Party has not nominated any candidate neither announced support for any.
On Wednesday, a group of opposition parties in the Balochistan Assembly, announced they would not field a candidate for the leader of the House. Addressing a joint news conference in Quetta, Deputy Opposition Leader in the provincial assembly, Engineer Zamruk Khan Achakzai along with other coalition partners hoped that the nominated Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo would establish peace and security in the province and address the public issues.
A no-confidence motion was submitted against Zehri on January 2 by MPAs Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza and had the signatures of 14 lawmakers. In order to retain his position as chief minister, Zehri required the support of 33 members from a house of 65.
A political crisis developed in Balochistan following the no-confidence motion, with efforts stepped up by the PML-N, which has a government both in the centre and province, to defuse the situation. Zehri was forced to resign after some members of his own party, the PML-N, joined the opposition in its demand to remove him from office.
The crisis heightened with the resignations of several cabinet members and advisers to chief minister Zehri.
Orignally published by INP