Sarfraz Bugti Becomes Balochistan CM ‘Unopposed’

Months after stepping down as the caretaker interior minister, Sarfraz Bugti becomes Balochistan CM unopposed.

Bugti recently joined the PPP and enjoyed the support of the PML-N. He submitted his nomination papers to Assembly Secretary Tahir Shah on Friday. PPP leader and former Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and PML-N leader Nawab Gangeez Khan Marri proposed his name.

No other candidate filed nomination papers before the deadline, which expired at 5 pm.

Mr. Bugti’s nomination papers accepted after scrutiny by the secretary, who also announced that his unopposed selection.

The official announcement of Mr Bugti’s election as the leader of the house will be made during the assembly session today.

He will also expectedly take the oath later in the day. Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Kakar will administer the oath in a ceremony at the Governor House.

In December, Mr. Bugti resigned from the federal cabinet and joined the PPP. He contested the election on the party’s ticket and won from the PB-10 constituency in Dera Bugti.

Earlier on Friday, PPP’s Balochistan chapter president, Mir Changez Khan Jamali, announced Mr. Bugti’s nomination as the party’s candidate for the Chief Minister.

He addressed a press conference on the assembly premises after returning to Quetta from Islamabad. Mr. Jamali said PPP leaders Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari had nominated Mr. Bugti. He made selection after lengthy discussions with senior party leaders at federal and provincial levels.

“The decision of the party’s high command to select Sarfraz Bugti for the top slot of Balochistan Chief Minister is acceptable to all of us,” Mr. Jamali said. He thanked Mr. Bhutto-Zardari and other leaders for nominating Mr. Bugti.

He also thanked the PML-N for supporting his party’s nominee.

Mr. Jamali added that after the Feb 8 general elections, PPP emerged as the largest party in Balochistan. The party is forming a coalition government with PML-N and BAP in the province.

Earlier, speaking to the media, the Chief Minister-elect thanked the party leadership and called the nomination “an honour”.

Mr. Bugti added that as Chief Minister, he would take all political parties on board to resolve Balochistan’s issues and would strive for the development and prosperity of the province.