Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Thursday that Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi is “no more chief minister of Punjab constitutionally” as he “failed” to secure a vote of confidence.
“Since he was not able to get a vote of confidence, he is no more the chief minister of Punjab,” the interior minister said while talking to the media.
Sanaullah added that after failing to get a vote of confidence, Elahi can no longer give advice to dissolve the Punjab assembly, adding that rules and laws no longer give him the authority to do so.
The minister said that a notification denotifying the chief minister will be issued as soon as the governor rolls out an order, adding that “if this constitutional decision is resisted and its implementation is stopped, the governor can write to the federal government”.
On December 19, Governor Balighur Rehman directed Chief Minister Elahi to seek a vote of confidence on December 21.
However, Speaker Sibtain Khan said that the governor’s letter, asking the chief minister to seek a vote of confidence was against the assembly rules, as well as the Constitution.
The province descended into further turmoil as Governor Rehman rejected the ruling of Speaker Sibtain.
Also read: No-trust moved in Punjab Assembly
While explaining the legal course of action, the interior minister furthered that after the approval of the Cabinet, the federal government can send advice to the president and governor rule can be imposed in the province.
In another scenario, Sanaullah added, the parliament can pass a resolution and the governor rule can be imposed for two months.
“After two months, another resolution can be passed and the governor's rule can be extended for six months,” the minister stated.
While answering a question on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhary’s comments that Article 6 can be applied on the governor, Sanaullah said that it was an “absurd statement”.
“It is an absurd statement. If the Constitution gives the governor a right and when a governor acts according to it, then there is no question of violation of Article 6 [of the Constitution] or any other law,” said the minister.
Regarding the name of a candidate from the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) for the post of chief minister, Sanaullah said the party has yet to talk about it but according to him Hamza Shehbaz would be the best fit.
Also read: PTI, Q league to jointly face motion against Elahi: Fawad
The minister added that the letter that the PTI has reportedly written to the president to replace the governor has no legal ground.
The interior minister further added that if a cabinet session takes place it will have no legal standing as the chief minister failed to get a vote of confidence and added that whenever the session of the Punjab Assembly takes place, its main agenda would be to elect the chief minister.
Sanaullah maintained that the government is not running away from elections and has, in fact, started preparing for them and that the party is also preparing for Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan.
He also said that Nawaz will announce a date of return himself, adding that the party has requested him to return before the elections which he has accepted.