The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday declared 25 dissident members of PTI de-seated while announcing its verdict in a case pertaining to the dissident members of the Punjab Assembly (MPAs).

The ECP announced the unanimous verdict while accepting the reference against PTI dissidents who voted for Hamza Shahbaz in the election of Punjab chief minister, sent by Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

“MPAs defected from the party by voting in favour of Hamza Shahbaz,” the ECP said in the verdict.

In the election for the chief minister’s slot on April 16, 2022, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz got 197 votes as opposed to the required number of 186 in the House of 371, meaning the support of PTI dissidents was key to his victory.

Hamza will now lose the majority as the dissidents have been de-seated.

The verdict has gained special significance after the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Article 63(A), holding that the vote of dissident MPs cannot not be counted.

The ECP bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, had reserved the verdict on Tuesday after listening to the arguments of PTI lawmakers.

The dissidents had argued that since they did not get any clear policy guidelines from the parliamentary party and in the absence of any direction, the party can not move against them.

Earlier, the ECP, in its May 11 verdict rejected the disqualification reference against the MNAs of the PTI involved in floor crossing during the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan. The ECP said in its verdict that the reference against 20 MNAs of the PTI was not proved.

A total of 16 of these MPAs belong to disgruntled Jahangir Tareen group, five to Aleem Khan group and four to Asad Khokhar group of PTI.

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