Balochistan Assembly meets today to elect new leader of house

Pakistan       by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published

Bizenjo' sole rival Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party's (PkMAP) Agha Syed Liaqat Ali bagged 13 votes. However, three of its MPAs cast their votes in favour of Bizenjo out of 11 members.

The National Party - another partner of the coalition that ruled for four and a half years - has made a decision to abstain from voting and sit on the opposition benches, spokesman Mir Jan Muhammad Buledi said after a party meeting on Friday.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid candidate won the election after securing 41 votes against his competitors, to serve the violence-torn province for around 6 months.

The oath was administered by Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai at Governor House, a few hours after Balochistan Assembly elected Bizenjo as 23 CM of the province following the resignation of former CM Sanaullah Zehri.

Zardari and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had claimed after ex-CM Sanaullah Zehri's resignation that the new leader of the House would be a PPP member.

On Friday, Bizenjo submitted his nomination papers, which were proposed and seconded by members of allied parties.

The PML-Q has five members, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) eight, Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) two, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, Awami National Party and BNP-Awami one each.

After the in-house election, the new chief minister will take the oath of his office at 5 pm.

Born in 1974, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid first became a lawmaker in 2002 and remained Deputy Speaker from 2013-15. The central leadership of the PML-N turned out to be totally helpless in stopping defections of all of its members. He resigned as deputy speaker when CM Nawab Sanaullah Zehri nominated Raheela Durrani as the new speaker of the provincial assembly.

After contesting general elections in 2013 again on PML-Q's ticket, Bizenjo was elected MPA for the third time.

The political crisis began with Bizenjo submitting a no-confidence motion against the chief minister on January 2.

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