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14 January 2018, 01:08 | Devin Moran
Balochistan Assembly meets today to elect new leader of house
Balochistan Assembly's former deputy speaker Abdul Quddus Bizenjo was elected the new chief minister of the province on Saturday amid tight security measures. The political crisis has been intensified by speculation, widely circulated in media, that elements of Pakistan's powerful military were behind efforts to destabilise the region and possibly dissolve the assembly ahead of the senate polls due around March, and the general elections in mid-2018. The central leadership of the PML-N turned out to be totally helpless in stopping defections of all of its members.
Agha Syed Liaqat Ali of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) was the only contestant against Bizenjo after Abdul Rahim Khan Ziaratwal of the same party withdrew his candidature in his favour. This signifies that PML-N MPs also voted for the new CM.
Bizenjo was voted in as the third chief minister in four years. He was elected from the PB-41 constituency.
Born in 1974, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid first became a lawmaker in 2002 and remained Deputy Speaker from 2013-15.
He was elected receiving least number of votes in the electoral history of Pakistan.
National Party has not nominated any candidate neither announced support for any.
JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Wasay, leader of the opposition in the provincial assembly, said the opposition would not join the new provincial government.
Bizenjo's cabinet will comprise 14 members including Tahir Mehmood Khan, Sardar Sarfaraz Khan Domki, Nawab Changez Khan Marri, Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Mrs Rahat Jamali, Abdul Majeed Abro, Mir Asim Kurd Giloo, Mir Amir Rind, Ghulam Dastagir Badini, Mohammad Akbar Askani, Sheikh Jaffer Khan Mandokhel, Agha Raza, Manzoor Ahmad Kakar and Prince Ahmed Ali.
In order to retain his position as chief minister, Zehri required the support of 33 members from a house of 65.
Zehri stepped down last week after opposition benches filed a no-confidence motion against him. Zehri was forced to resign after some members of his own party, the PML-N, joined the opposition in its demand to remove him from office. The crisis was averted on January 9 after Zehri tendered his resignation to Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai minutes before the no-confidence motion against him.
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