LHC orders recount of votes cast in Punjab CM election after excluding 25 dissident lawmakers
In a major development, The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered re-counting of votes cast on April 16 for the election of Punjab chief minister, directing that the votes of 25 PTI dissident lawmakers will not be counted.
A five-member bench of the Lahore High Court headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan heard the petitions of PTI and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi against the election of Punjab Chief Minister.
The larger bench comprised Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, Justice Shahram Sarwar Chaudhry, Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh and Justice Shahid Jamil Khan.
In a brief order issued after the hearing, the Lahore High Court directed that the votes cast in the April 16 elections be recounted without counting the 25 votes of dissident lawmakers of PTI.
The decision said that if Hamza Shahbaz could not get the required majority to become the Chief Minister, then re-election would be held under Article 130 (4) unless any candidate for the post got a majority.
The decision further said that according to Article 130 (4), in the second phase of voting, no candidate would need 186 votes but only the existing members and a majority of their votes would be required to be elected Chief Minister.
The court ruled that if Hamza Shahbaz lost the required majority after the presiding officer withdrew 25 votes, he would not remain chief minister.
The decision said that the Punjab Assembly would meet on July 1, 2022 (tomorrow) at 4 pm if necessary for recount of votes and re-election.
The Lahore High Court in its judgment has emphasized that the session of the Punjab Assembly cannot be adjourned till the election process is completed and the Presiding Officer informs the Governor about the result of the elected Chief Minister.
The decision further said that the Governor would perform his duty under Article 130 (5) at any time before 11 a.m. the next day without any hesitation.