No-trust motion against Parvez Elahi dismissed as Punjab Assembly session postponed to June 6

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LAHORE, MAY 22: A Punjab Assembly session — in which the no-confidence motions against Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari were to be held — was put off to June 6 after the no-trust motion against the speaker was dismissed.

As lawmakers were unable to enter due to police, the no-confidence motion against Speaker Elahi was scuttled on technical grounds as no member of the PML-N could present it against him.

As soon as the session started, under the panel of chairs in the absence of any lawmaker, it was adjourned to June 6.

Afterwards, Khalil Tahir Sindhu of the PML-N said that the session was adjourned on “unlawful grounds” and that they would move against the speaker again today. “Nowhere in the law is it said that once a motion is rejected, it cannot be re-introduced.”

Earlier, MPAs from the PML-N-led coalition alleged that some PTI and PML-Q lawmakers were allowed inside, and held Elahi responsible for it, while the speaker blamed the “father-son duo” of PM Shehbaz Sharif and CM Hamza Shehbaz.

The session was scheduled to begin at 12:30pm. Elahi had summoned lawmakers to arrive at the assembly half an hour before.

PML-N’s Ataullah Tarar told reporters that the gates have been closed on the orders of Parvez Elahi. “Elahi did all this using his men. No media or MPAs are allowed to enter. This is not district council Gujrat, this is the centre of 120 million people.”

Addressing Elahi, Tarar said he has “made it a habit” to violate the sanctity of the house. “A no-confidence motion was moved against you and under the Constitution, it is obligatory to hold the session within seven days.” He also said PML-N lawmakers would be protesting outside the gates until they were allowed in.

Separately, PPP Parliamentary Leader Syed Hassan Murtaza told reporters, said that only PTI lawmakers were being allowed to enter the assembly. He alleged that such methods were being used to ensure that a “mishap” could occur so that there would be grounds to disqualify lawmakers.

On the other hand, Elahi in a conversation with reporters, said the “father-son” duo of Shehbaz and Hamza Shehbaz had shut the gates when asked who was responsible for the obstacles.

He said that it was now evident to the media that they (the government) “have made a police gate”. “The truth is they have seen that they don’t have the numbers. We have more people. Their lotas (turncoats) have been de-seated … There is no one that can stop legislation.”

He also warned that those police officials who obstruct proceedings were risking Article 6 — treason — cases.

Earlier in the day, Elahi spoke of the enhanced security presence, and said: “Let’s see who prevents the elected members from entering the assembly.

“We will fight against government fascism. No one can stop elected representatives from entering the assembly.”

Former Punjab governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema also took to Twitter and requested the “heads of the law enforcement agencies and constitutional institutions” to take notice of the situation in Punjab.

“How long can the province of 120 million be bullied by this father-son [duo] and police,” he said, adding that the public should not be forced to take to the streets to “free the province”.