It is unfortunate that once again, politicians have been unable to resolve a political crisis within the parliament or in committees, and the decision has inevitably ended up in the courts. There are several problems with the frequency of such occurrences—firstly this keeps expanding the limited scope of the court in parliamentary proceedings; secondly, the court will likely give a decision that will not please at least one of the parties. Therefore, such a decision is likely to be appealed to a higher forum, and thereon, this political crisis, which benefits nobody and holds back the progress of the province, continues indefinitely.

It is useful to view the matter of the chief minister position in the Punjab Assembly, and the subsequent case in the Supreme Court from that perspective. There has been a lot of litigation regarding the current makeup of the Punjab Assembly, and the decision always appears to offend one party. PML-N objected when the court disqualified the dissident PTI MPAs. PTI was outraged by the Lahore High Court’s decision to declare the election of PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab chief minister void and order a recount of votes excluding the dissidents of ex-premier Imran Khan’s party.

Now that the same case has been appealed to the Supreme Court, it appears that the apex Court, keeping in view the need for a functioning government in Punjab, and knowing the two rival parties’ complete inability to negotiate on anything, has attempted to give a decision that will please everyone—the three-member Supreme Court bench, which took the PTI plea against Thursday Lahore High Court decision, ruled yesterday that the election for the Punjab chief minister would be held on July 22.

This is ultimately the right decision that prioritises the peoples votes, and also ensures some degree of stability until the by-elections. It is hoped that both parties will abide by the decision and play nice until July 22, and it is hoped that from now on, such decisions may be made between political parties themselves, rather than relegating their quarrelling to the court to fix a settlement between them.