LHC directs ECP to notify five PTI lawmakers on reserved seats of Punjab Assembly

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Monday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to notify the members on the Punjab Assembly’s reserved seats after accepting a plea registered by the PTI.

The PTI had approached the LHC against the ECP’s decision deferring the issuance of a notification on the reserved assembly seats till the by-elections on 20 vacant seats.

The decision was announced by the LHC on Monday after hearing all arguments of relevant stakeholders.

Speaking to the media, PTI’s counsel Ali Zafar welcomed the decision and termed it a “game-changer”.

After the LHC order, five reserved seats will be allocated to the PTI which will increase their number in the provincial legislature.

Number’s Game

The Punjab Assembly has a total of 371 members, of which, at the moment, 20 seats are vacant and are up for re-polling on July 17. This brings the total number of MPAs in the Punjab Assembly down to 351.

The ruling PML-N has a majority of 165 members. However, four of its MPAs had previously rebelled against the party leadership, of which two are still undecided about staying with the PML-N. This leaves the PML-N with only 163 MPAs.

On the other side is the opposition, therefore the PTI, which is 158 MPAs strong at the moment. But if allotted the five reserved seats after the orders of the Lahore High Court, the PTI will also bring up its numbers to 163.

In the House are also five independents, of which Chaudhry Nisar, the former interior minister, is unlikely to vote. While the PPP has seven MPAs, PML-Q has 10 and the Rah-e-Haq party has one.

Earlier today, the LHC directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to notify the members on the Punjab Assembly’s reserved seats after accepting a plea registered by the PTI.

The PTI had approached the LHC against the ECP’s decision deferring the issuance of a notification on the reserved assembly seats till the by-elections on 20 vacant seats.

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