Sibtain Khan takes oath as Punjab Assembly speaker

Sibtain Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Saturday took oath as the new Punjab Assembly Speaker in place of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who was elected the chief minister of the province, following a Supreme Court judgment earlier this week.

The apex court's ruling had annulled the former deputy speaker’s ruling in favour of Elahi’s rival Hamza Shehbaz of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Senior Member of the Panel of Chairmen Nawabzada Waseem Khan administered the oath to Khan during a provincial assembly session in Lahore.

After assuming responsibility, Sibtain thanked the PTI and PML-Q leadership for their confidence in him.

Khan won 185 votes from the lawmakers from the PTI, the PML-Q and other allies. His rival PML-N’s Saiful Malook Khokhar obtained 175 votes – three short of the opposition’s total strength of 178 in the provincial legislature.

Mazari removed

The treasury benches in the Punjab Assembly also passed the no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari in the wee hours of Saturday, hours after Khan was elevated to Speaker.

Read ECP pushed for early PTI funding verdict

Khan presided over the proceedings of the no-confidence motion against Mazari. The treasury showed one-fourth of its total strength – 93 members – to present the no-confidence motion against the deputy speaker.

Former law minister Raja Basharat presented the motion against Mazari, which was carried out. Afterwards, secret balloting started. But this time a little number of PML-N lawmakers were present in the house to check whether or not the PTI would be able to cast all of its 186 votes.

The house reverberated with the slogans of "Lotta " [turncoat] when Deputy Speaker Mazari entered the house. PTI's lawmakers tried to get close to him but their senior leadership stopped them. Some PTI lawmakers even used abusive language against him.

Eventually, the PTI cast the votes in its full strength, with 186 lawmakers reposing no confidence in Mazari, Speaker Sibtain Khan announced that the motion was successful. The speaker then adjourned the house till at 1 pm Sunday for the election of a new deputy speaker.

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