Rana Sanaullah says Parvez Elahi no longer CM per Constitution

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Rana Sanaullah

Lahore: As the political standoff continues in Punjab, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday said that Parvez Elahi is no longer the chief minister of the province per the Constitution after he skipped getting a vote of confidence from the Punjab Assembly yesterday.

Rana Sanaullah’s statement came just a day after Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi skipped getting the vote of confidence on Wednesday from the provincial assembly as directed by Governor Balighur Rehman, with the federal government now considering to de-notify the CM according to sources.

Speaking to the media in Lahore, Rana Sanaullah made it clear that CM Parvez Elahi cannot advise dissolving the assembly now, terming it “illegal and unconstitutional” and against the rules of the assembly.

The Interior Minister was referring to Imran Khan’s announcement of dissolving the two provincial assemblies, i.e. KP and Punjab.

On the matter of whether the federal government was planning to de-notify the CM and when a notification in this regard would be issued, Rana Sanaullah said: “The governor’s order de-notifying Elahi as the chief minister is now just a formality.”

He said that a notification would be issued as soon as it is the governor’s prerogative to issue it.

“If this constitutional decision is resisted and its implementation is stopped, the governor can write to the federal government,” Sanaullah said. “After the cabinet’s approval, the federal government can send his advice to the president to approve the imposition of governor’s rule in the province.”

He asserted that the president is bound to follow the advice of the prime minister.

Enjoying a very thin majority over the opposition in the province, CM Parvez Elahi received the full confidence of its PML-Q MPAs. CM Elahi and PML-Q Parliamentary Leader Sajid Bhatti presided over the PML-Q parliamentary party meeting at the CM office on Wednesday, in which the political situation came under a comprehensive review along with chalking out future strategy. The PML-Q parliamentary party members reposed their complete trust in the leadership of CM Parvez Elahi.

With the support of 10 MPAs of the PML-Q, the Chief Minister now enjoys the support of 187 members in the provincial assembly — 177 MPAs belong to the PTI.

Commenting on the apparent crisis in the province, Rana Sanaullah claimed that there was no political crisis. “An assembly session will be called for the election of the new chief minister,” said Rana Sanaullah, adding that as soon as the governor will pass orders they will be implemented.

“Governor has the constitutional right to de-notify the chief minister. When the governor acts as per the Constitution then there is no question of Article 6,” said the minister.

Punjab standoff continues as govt decides to de-notify CM Parvez Elahi: sources