Balochistan Assembly meets today to elect new leader of house

Balochistan Assembly elects CM today

Balochistan Assembly elects CM today

Following the ouster of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif from office in a corruption scam previous year, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) suffered another major blow on Saturday when Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, a candidate of its rival party, was elected CM of the restive southwestern Balochistan province.

Speaker Raheela Hameed Durrani made the official announcement.

The election took place amid beefed up security in and around the assembly building.

Agha Syed Liaqat Ali of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) was the only contestant against Bizenjo after Abdul Rahim Khan Ziaratwal of the same party withdrew his candidature in his favour.

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Following the in-house election, the new leader of the house will take oath of his office at 5 pm.

A PML-Q MPA from Awaran, Bizenjo, is also said to be enjoying the support of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers, who remained loyal to former chief minister Sanaullah Zehri. Bizenjo was elected from Awaran in the 2013 general election with just 544 votes, the lowest tally of ballots in all constituencies of Pakistan.

Only 1.18 percent were polled in his constituency. In a house of 65 members, at least 33 votes are required to elect the CM.

National Party has not nominated any candidate neither announced support for any.

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JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Wasay, leader of the opposition in the provincial assembly, said the opposition would not join the new provincial government.

The political crisis began with Bizenjo submitting a no-confidence motion against the chief minister on January 2. 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. He turned in his resignation on January 9, the day when opposition parties planned to move the motion against him in the provincial assembly. A number of ministers had resigned following the motion submitted against Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri.

Zehri had also been advised by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to step down as chief minister in order to defuse the political crisis.

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