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Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo took oath as new Balochistan CM

14 January, 2018

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QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly’s former deputy speaker Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo took oath as new chief minister of the province on Saturday after lawmakers elected him as new leader of the house with a majority vote, days after former chief minister Sanaullah Zehri stepped down hours before voting on a no-confidence motion against him.

Speaker Raheela Hameed Durrani made the official announcement. The contest was held between Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) candidate Bizenjo who secured 41 votes and Pakhtunkhuwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) member Agha Syed Liaqat Ali who bagged 13 votes. Besides his party, Bizenjo had the support of disgruntled members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

He is the third chief minister of the province in four and-a-half years. Another PkMAP candidate, Abdul Rahim Ziyaratwal, who also filed his nomination papers for the slot had withdrawn from the race.

Abdul Quddus Bizenjo was born in Awaran on Januaray 1, 1974, and contested elections for the first time in 2002. He was elected from the PB-41 constituency in Awaran in general election of 2013. He remained deputy speaker of the Balochistan Assembly from 2013-15. In an inaugural speech in the Balochistan Assembly after his election as chief minister, Bizenjo promised to make healthcare, education and clean drinking water for the people his top priority during his stint in power.

The newly appointed CM said that he wanted the bureaucracy to keep pace with the measures he wanted to implement to solve the problems of the people in the province. “I will use the short time given to me to find solutions to the problems of citizens and will try to boost good governance,” he added. “Maintenance of public order shall remain the utmost priority with the protection of the life and property of the people without any discrimination,” Bizenjo told the House. He said that he wanted to ensure the completion of CPEC projects as well as other development schemes. He hinted that he would undertake legislation to protect the inalienable rights of the residents of Gwadar district as a whole and also sought help from his colleagues in this regard. “The water scarcity in Quetta will also be addressed on priority basis,” he added. “I have no personal differences with Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and I have the deepest respect for him. He resigned with grace and upheld the democratic traditions in Balochistan,” the newly elected CM said. Zehri, the former chief minister of Balochistan, had stepped down last week after opposition benches filed a motion of no-confidence against him. He turned in his resignation on January 9, the day when opposition parties planned to move a no-confidence vote against him in the provincial assembly.

He was reportedly asked to resign ahead of the session to spare his party – the PML-N – further embarrassment after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi failed to win over the disgruntled elements in the Balochistan Assembly. The no-confidence motion submitted against Zehri on January 2 by MPAs Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza had the signatures of 14 lawmakers. In order to retain his position as chief minister, Zehri required the support of 33 members from a house of 65.

Bizenjo’s cabinet will comprise 14 members, including Tahir Mehmood Khan, Sardar Sarfaraz Khan Domki, Nawab Changez Khan Marri, Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Ms 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.

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