Balochistan Assembly meets today to elect new leader of house

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Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Quddus Bizenjo on Saturday promised to give healthcare, education and clean drinking water to the people during his reign, while delivering his inaugural speech in the Balochistan Assembly.

Thousands of policemen were deployed around the assembly hall and surrounding roads were also sealed off for regular traffic.

It merits a mention here that the third candidate Abdul Raheem Ziaratwal of Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party withdrew his nomination papers before the election process in favour of Syed Agha Liaquat Ali nominated by the same party.

Former deputy speaker of Balochistan Assembly bagged 41 votes out of 54 votes cast to become third chief minister in four years.

He was proposed by Jan Muhammad Jamali, Sardar Bhootani, Dr Ruquyia Saeed Hashmi, Zafarullah Zehri and Ghulam Dastagir Badini, and seconded by Sarfaraz Bugti, Amanullah Notezai, Prince Ahmed Ali, Mir Aamir Khan Rind and Molvi Maazullah.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz despite having 21 members in the assembly could not create consensus on the leader of the house and several of its members voted for Bizenjo, the candidate of the rival party.

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Fourteen cabinet members also took the oath administered by the Balochistan governor.

Speaking on the floor of the assembly, Bizenjo thanked all the lawmakers who had supported him. He added that he would reach out to all political parties, including PkMAP and NP for parliamentary consultation and we would try to resolve issues in Balochistan by keeping everyone together. In 2008, he was re-elected on PML-Q's ticket and joined Nawab Aslam Raisani's cabinet as minister for livestock, successfully completing a five-year tenure.

Speaker Raheela Hameed Durrani made the official announcement.

Bizenjo was elected as MPA from Awaran in general election of 2013 after bagging only 544 votes.

A political crisis developed in Balochistan following the no-confidence motion, with efforts stepped up by the PML-N, which has a government both in the centre and province, to defuse the situation.

The oath was administered by Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai.

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