LHC orders recount of votes cast in Punjab CM poll minus PTI dissidents.

LAHORE -- The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered re-counting of votes for the election of Punjab's chief minister held on April 16, instructing that the votes of 25 dissident PTI lawmakers be excluded from the counting process.A five-member bench comprising Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, Justice Shahid Jamil Khan, Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry, Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh announced the verdict with a 4-1 majority.In a short order issued after the hearing, the LHC instructed that votes in the election held on April 16 be recounted after excluding 25 votes of the defecting lawmakers. If the required majority for Hamza - which is 186 votes in the 371-member strong house - to stay the CM is not secured, the election will be held again under Article 130(4), unless another candidate has majority votes.According to Article 130(4), in the second round of voting, a member will not require 186 votes but simply needs a majority of those "present and voting" to be elected the chief minister.The court said that Hamza will cease to be the chief minister if he loses the required majority after the exclusion of 25 votes by the presiding officer. However, it pointed out, functions performed and powers exercised by Hamza will be "protected under the de facto doctrine" in accordance...

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