On Friday 22nd, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari declared PML-N’s Hamza Shahbaz winner of the election for the province’s chief minister. Citing party head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s letter in which he instructed his party members to cast their votes in favour of Hamza, Mazari rejected 10 votes of the PML-Q lawmakers as they went in favour of PTI.
Following the election, PTI candidate and PML-Q leader Parvez Elahi filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the deputy speaker’s ruling.
Commenting on the development, legal expert Reema Omer tweeted: “No matter how SC decides petitions against Dost Mazari’s ruling, damage to the constitutional scheme and incoherence caused by its recent rewriting of Article 63-A will remain.”
Hearing Elahi’s petition today on Saturday 23rd , the top court issued an order which allowed Hamza to stay as a “trustee” Punjab chief minister until it resumes hearing on Monday.
Reacting to the top court’s interim order, Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, the president of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), tweeted: “Without the benefit of a written order and solely relying on media reports, I wonder what is a ‘trustee’ CM? Is such a thing mentioned in the Constitution? Is there a limit to the innovation and re-writing of Constitution?”
In a tweet, columnist Mohammad Taqi said: “Doctrine of necessity galore! The Supreme Court continues to deface the elected institutions. What the hell is a trustee CM? No matter how controversial the elections, Hamza is the CM till he’s not.”