Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Balochistan Assembly meets today to elect new leader of house

Balochistan Balochistan Assembly meets today to elect new leader of house
Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 16:37

After Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo of PML-Q was elected as Balochistan chief minister yesterday, the party spokesperson turned down the rumours that Bizenjo, on PML-Q advice, will dissolve the assembly to disrupt the Senate election scheduled to be held in March. He resigned as deputy speaker when CM Nawab Sanaullah Zehri nominated Raheela Durrani as the new speaker of the provincial assembly.

Strict security arrangements have been put in place in and around the assembly premises with pickets erected at four locations for security checking.

Bizenjo will now take oath of his office at 5 pm.

Zehri, the former chief minister of Balochistan, was reportedly asked to resign ahead of the session to spare his party - the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) - further embarrassment after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi failed to win over the disgruntled elements in the Balochistan Assembly.

Born in 1974, Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo completed his initial education in his native town of Shindi located in remote Awaran tehsil, and secured a Master's degree in English from the University of Balochistan in 2000. He was elected from the PB-41 constituency.

Bizenjo belongs to the troubled Awaran district of Balochistan and was elected on a PML-Q ticket during general elections 2013.

Only 1.18 percent were polled in his constituency. In a house of 65 members, at least 33 votes are required to elect the CM. However; National Party has refused to support the nominated candidates.

A no-confidence motion was submitted against Zehri on January 2 by MPAs Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza and had the signatures of 14 lawmakers. He was the former deputy speaker of the assembly and had played a key role in the ouster of Sanaullah Zehri, a former PML-N CM, who had to step down last week after opposition benches filed a motion of no-confidence against him.

A political crisis developed in Balochistan following the no-confidence motion, with efforts stepped up by the PML-N, which has a government both in the centre and province, to defuse the situation.

The crisis heightened with the resignations of several cabinet members and advisers to chief minister Zehri.

"Maintenance of public order shall remain the utmost priority with the protection of the life and property of the people without any discrimination", Bizenjo told the House.