Islamabad [Pakistan], July 26 (ANI): Striking down the decision by Pakistan's Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, the country's Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that Pakistan Muslim League (Q) leader Pervaiz Elahi, an ally of ex-PM Imran Khan, would be the new Chief Minister of Punjab province replacing Hamza Shahbaz of PML-N.
This is yet another major win for former prime minister Imran Khan after his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) win against the ruling coalition in the Punjab bypolls.
The top court, in its short order, declared all the appointments made by Hamza "illegal" and told the members of his Cabinet to vacate their offices, Dawn reported.
All of the advisers and assistants appointed by Hamza were also ordered to be relieved of their duties.
Notably, Hamza Shahbaz, son of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, had defeated Pervez Elahi in the Punjab polls and Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Mazari had dismissed PML-Q's 10 votes after party head Chaudhry Shujaat urged them to vote in favour of Hamza.
Earlier, the Pakistan Supreme Court had allowed Hamza Shahbaz to stay as a 'trustee' chief minister of Punjab till the court resumes hearing. In its order after the day-long hearing, the court said that it cannot leave a province without a chief executive and so, "Hamza will continue to work as a trustee chief minister till Monday."
Afterwards, the coalition government demanded a full court bench to hear the case but the apex court after hearing arguments from all sides for nearly eight hours, decided not to form a full court bench, saying that the same bench would hear the case.
As the SC decided not to form a full bench, the ruling coalition and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) decided to boycott the apex court hearing.
Following a resounding victory in Punjab bypolls, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja to resign, stating that his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the elections despite the misuse of state machinery.
Pakistan's ruling PML-N party is set to lose its provincial government in Punjab province, after a decisive win by Imran Khan's PTI in the bye-elections to 20 seats held on Sunday. The Khan-led PTI won 15 seats while PM Sharif's PML-N managed to secure just 4 seats. One seat went to an Independent.
At a public address following his triumph in the Punjab province, Imran Khan insisted that early general elections still were the only solution to the country's current woes, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The PTI chief said that the CEC tried his best to turn the polls in favour of Shehbaz Sharif's PML-N.
"I am disappointed in the chief election commissioner. How could he let all this happen? He is not competent to run [the Election Commission of Pakistan] and is biased towards a political party. Raja should immediately resign." (ANI)