Following day-long political drama, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman de-notified Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi in the wee hours of Friday after he failed to take a vote of confidence from the provincial assembly.
Announcing the development on the Twitter, the governor wrote: “Since CM has refrained from obtaining vote of confidence at the appointed day and time therefore he ceases to hold office. Orders issued this evening.”
“Consequent to the facts that Ch Pervaiz Elahi, CM Punjab, refrained from obtaining vote of confidence at 1600 hrs yesterday, in line with an Order under Article 130 (7) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, issued under my hand on 19th December 2022, in line with Rule 22 (7) of the Rules of Procedures of Provincial Assembly of Punjab, 1997, and that he still has not done so ever after the lapse of another twenty four hours, I am satisfied that he does not command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Punjab Assembly and therefore ceases to hold his office with immediate effect,” the notification stated.
According to the notification, the provincial cabinet stands dissolved and the chief minister is asked to continue until a new CM is elected.
However, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rejected the governor’s notification. Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that the notification regarding the denotification of CM Elahi has “no legal status”.
The Punjab governor had earlier asked the chief minister to take vote of confidence from the provincial assembly.
Rehman — belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — had summoned a session on Wednesday at 4 pm for a vote of confidence pertaining to Chief Minister Parvez Elahi.
But defying the directives, the speaker — a PTI member — had termed the order against the Constitution and adjourned an ongoing session till Friday.
The governor issued the directives under Article 130’s section 7, stating that it is the speaker’s responsibility to defend the Constitution and uphold the law.
Earlier this week, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) submitted a no-confidence motion against Elahi in the Punjab Assembly, after PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced that the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be dissolved on December 23.
Reacting to the governor’s order to call the session for vote of confidence, Sibtain Khan had said that it is not a governor’s problem to give or not give a ministry to someone. He added that the governor cannot summon a new session while one is already in progress in the assembly.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed on Thursday that Elahi was no longer the chief minister of Punjab constitutionally.
“The Punjab governor had asked the chief minister to take a vote of confidence by yesterday, but he did not take it, so according to the constitution, Elahi is no longer the chief minister,” said Sanaullah while talking to the media in Lahore.
The interior minister said that Rehman is using his powers under the Constitution, adding that whenever the orders [of de-notifying Parvez Elahi as chief minister] are issued by him, they will be implemented.
The PTI snubbed the governor’s step, saying it has “no legal status”. Fawad reacted to the governor’s notification, saying Elahi and the provincial cabinet will continue to work as usual.
A reference will be sent against the governor to President Dr Arif Alvi as part of proceedings to remove him [governor Rehman] from his office, Fawad tweeted.