Punjab crisis deepens: Governor ‘rejects’ Buzdar’s resignation hours before Hamza’s oath-taking

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LAHORE: Just hours before the oath-taking ceremony of CM-elect Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Governor Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, in a surprise move Saturday, “rejected” the resignation of Usman Buzdar saying Constitutional requirements were not fulfilled.

The development came after the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC), directing National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to administer the oath to Hamza Shahbaz today at 11:30am.

Omar Sarafraz Cheema, in his letter to Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi, stated that the March 28 resignation letter of Usman Buzdar was not in accordance with the rules as it was addressed to the prime minister and not to the governor which was mandatory as per sub-section 8 of Article 130 of the Constitution.

“The resignation was not addressed to the governor which was unconstitutional and thus rejected. Consequently, the provincial cabinet has been restored,” Cheema stated.
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Buzdar had stepped down from his post last month after the PTI decided to nominate PML-Q’s Elahi as Punjab CM in return for the party’s support for a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. Later, the then governor Chauhdry Mohammad Sarwar had accepted Buzdar’s resignation after meeting in-person with Buzdar.

Meanwhile, Usman Buzdar has summoned a meeting of the Punjab Cabinet today for which provincial ministers have started to arrive at the assembly building.

Speaking to Geo News, Murad Raas and Mian Aslam Iqbal said that there’s no crisis in the province as Governor Cheema holds a constitutional office and he has taken a decision on the matter.

Moreover, security was tightened around Punjab Governor House for the oath-taking ceremony of Hamza Shehbaz. Roads leading to the Governor’s House were sealed to avoid any untoward situation.