Mohsin Naqvi takes up Punjab reins as caretaker CM.

ISLAMABAD -- Just a couple of hours after being appointed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for a 90-day interim period, caretaker Punjab chief minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi took the oath of office late on Sunday evening.

Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman administered the oath to Mr Naqvi, a senior journalist and owner of some private TV channels, at the Governor House, after the ECP picked his name from among the four nominees of the PTI and PML-N, which had failed to agree on any of them.

While the PTI, which was ruling the province before the Punjab Assembly's dissolution on Jan 12, vehemently rejected the appointment, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari hailed the move and said the caretaker CM would prove his critics wrong through his actions and hard work.

The ECP made the decision after two-hour deliberations on all four names at its meeting, which was presided over by its chairman Sikandar Sultan Raja. The meeting, which lasted till 9pm, considered different aspects while vetting their candidature to determine who can run the provincial government best till the assembly elections.

A two-day time frame the ECP had under Article 224-A of the Constitution was set to expire at 10pm on Sunday. The commission could not meet a day earlier as it officially received the names of four nominees on Saturday. Former CM Parvez Elahi had proposed the names of Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and Naveed Akram Cheema while former opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz had endorsed the names of Mr Naqvi and Ahad Cheema for the top slot in the caretaker set-up.

A notification issued by the ECP regarding the appointment stated: 'Pursuant to the proviso of Clause (3) of Article 224-A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and as a result of detailed deliberations made on 22nd January, 2023, the Election Commission of Pakistan has unanimously decided to appoint Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi as caretaker chief minister, Punjab with immediate effect.'

While the PTI and its ally PML-Q had already warned that they would challenge the ECP...

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