Tanveer Ilyas elected
AJK PM unopposed,
Anwarul Haq presided
over the assembly session

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MUZAFFARABAD:  Sardar Tanveer Ilyas was elected unopposed as the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Monday. He was the candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the slot of the prime minister.

He was elected unopposed as none of the opposition parties submitted nomination papers of their candidates for the slot of the prime minister.

Sardar Tanveer Ilyas

Earlier, a session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly started at noon on Monday for the election of new prime minister. Members of the opposition parties were present in the assembly session.

The motion for the election of new Leader of the House was passed with a majority vote. The assembly secretary was directed to initiate proceedings for the election of new Leader of the House.

Sardar Tanveer Ilyas was the candidate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the slot of prime minister. Speaker Chaudhry Anwarul Haq presided over the assembly session.

Former prime minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi was also present in the House. Sardar Tanveer Ilyas needed 27 votes in the House of 53 parliamentarians to be elected as prime minister.

The session was convened by President Barrister Sultan Mahmood under Article 16(3) of the AJK Constitution for the second time in less than 48 hours as the previous summary lacked the executive approval of the then prime minister.

Earlier, the ruling PTI had tried to conduct the election in Friday’s session, which had originally been summoned for voting on a no-trust resolution against former prime minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, but it failed after the opposition challenged it in the high court.

As many as 25 PTI members in the AJK legislature had on April 12 moved a resolution for a vote of no-confidence against Niazi for his “failure to implement the party’s manifesto and ensure good governance” apart from other alleged shortcomings.

Today, the house met at about 11:30am, with participation from all but three members — one being an ally of the government and the remaining two from the opposition.

Sardar Tanveer Ilyas

The combined opposition comprises 12 legislators of PPP and seven of the PML-N.

The opposition had nominated PPP’s regional president Chaudhry Mohammad Yasin as their candidate for the prime minister’s office but on Sunday night it announced it was pulling out of the contest.

Earlier in the day, the opposition addressed a press conference and expressed its intent to boycott the session prior to its commencement.

During the session, PTI lawmaker Abdul Majid Khan presented a resolution to suspend Rule 15(1), which stipulates a gap of two days between the filing of the nomination papers and voting for the prime minister’s election.

As the resolution was approved with a majority vote, the opposition objected to it, questioning the hurriedness of the ruling party on the matter.

Speaker Haq engaged the opposition for quite some time, allowing it to share its views on points of order.

However, when he directed the assembly staff to issue the schedule for the election, the opposition lawmakers left the hall in protest.

The office had fallen vacant due to resignation of AJK Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has nominated Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, Member of the Legislative Assembly from Poonch Division, as candidate of the party for the office.

The opposition parties in AJK Legislative Assembly, comprising PPP and PML (N) have announced to boycott the election.

Talking to APP, leader of the opposition in Legislative Assembly and PPP leader Chaudhry Latif Akber said PPP and PML-N will boycott the election of the new Prime Minister because the session of the Assembly is unconstitutional.