Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) in an effort to have the Punjab Governor Omer Sarfaraz Cheema administer oath to the newly elected chief minister Hamza Shehbaz and to subsequently avoid constitutional crisis. Hamza filed a petition with the high court and made the governor as well as the chief secretary respondents. Hamza said he was elected as chief minister on April 16 during a provincial assembly session held under the LHC’s direction and that he had secured 197 votes out of 371. Hamza reiterated that he had won the simple majority after which Acting Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari provided copies of the result to Governor Omer Sarfaraz Cheema to fulfill the requirements of Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure. The petitioner maintained that the governor had, however, been reluctant to administer the oath to him as he was following his vested interests, says a news report. He contended that it was a constitutional obligation that the chief minister-elect was administered oath on the same day as his election without delay, but it was “unfortunate that we live in the eras of president and governors, who are shelled in their narrow political landscape and have failed to appreciate the grace expected from such esteemed constitutional roles and offices”. He maintained that the incumbent Punjab governor was in sheer disregard for the Constitution and constitutional convention. The petition further stated that the chief secretary was a former office-bearer and worker of PTI and that it was unfortunate that he was creating a constitutional crisis that ridiculed the spirit of constitutional commands and parliamentary democracy, and also exposed the populace to further economic and political turmoil. He claimed that the position of the president as the head of state and the position of the governor as the head of province was similar to that of the English constitutional monarch, wherein a leader does not and cannot act on his own initiative but must act in accordance with the advice of the prime minister or in the latter case, the chief minister or his cabinet. “The governor in the performance of his functions is bound to act on the advice of the chief minister or his cabinet, but this is subject to the provisions of the Constitution. Thus, where a constitutional provision clearly designates a particular obligation/duty in no unclear terms, the governor is duty-bound to perform the same in the manner defined in the Constitution,” the petition stated. It further said that Article 130(5) imposed a mandatory obligation upon the governor in which he had no discretion to act in any manner other than what has been clearly specified. “Any deviation for whatsoever reason that may be would constitute a violation of the clear obligation laid down in Clause (5) of Article 130 of the Constitution.” The LHC has returned the petition after declaring it incomplete. The LHC Registrar office maintained that necessary documents were not attached with the petition.