Punjab Assembly embarks on fresh journey as MPAs-elect take oath

Punjab Assembly embarks on fresh journey as MPAs-elect take oath


The speaker says only oath-taking ceremony today

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LAHORE (Dunya News) – More than 300 MPAs-elect in Punjab on Friday took oath pledging to serve the country to the best of their abilities. 

The swearing-in ceremony means the Punjab Assembly has begun its fresh journey after the Feb 8 general elections. 

Earlier, the crucial Punjab Assembly session got under way after a delay of more than two hours on Friday. 

As many as 215 members of the PML-N and allies reached the assembly which saw sloganeering and protest by the Sunni Ittehad Council members. The two sides raised slogans against each other. There were 97 members of the opposition. 

Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan administered oath to the newly-elected members. 

Earlier, the session to elect the chief minister, the speaker and the deputy speaker was delayed. Officials cited no reason for delay in the all-important session, saying it's a usual practice. 

The speaker later made it clear that the MPAs-elect would be administered oath in the first session and the election of the chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker would take place in the next session as the Election Commission of Pakistan had yet to take a decision on reserved seats. 

PTI's candidate for the office of chief minister, Mian Aslam Iqbal, could not reach the assembly. 

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has named Haider Gilani as parliamentary leader. Meanwhile, PML-N's Malik Ahmed Khan is expected to be made speaker of the provincial assembly. 

Marriyum Aurangzeb, who remained central information secretary, took oath as an MPA and will assist Maryam Nawaz who is expected to take on the mantle of chief minister office. PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and president Shehbaz Sharif have decided to give the role to Marriyum Aurangzeb. 

As a tradition, the treasury members have been allotted seats on the right of the speaker, while the opposition was allotted seats on the left.

Meanwhile, the PML-N sources revealed that Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan was likely to be made the speaker instead of Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman. 

Maryam Nawaz withdraws from NA-119  

Maryam Nawaz has sent a letter of withdrawal from NA-119 to the Election Commission of Pakistan. The ECP will conduct by-elections on this seat. The PML-N leader has retained the provincial assembly seat. 

Initial report 

The newly-elected members of the Punjab Assembly are set to take oath today (Friday), thus formally launching the process to form the government in Pakistan’s most-populated province. 

It is necessary to convene the first session of the House within 20 days of holding elections which were held on Feb 8, resulting in the PML-N gaining the largest number of seats in the provincial legislature.

However, the PML-N – which has nominated Maryam Nawaz, the party’s chief organiser and political scion of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, for the chief minister’s slot – has managed to get the support of a large number of independents.

As a result, it is expected Maryam will become the first woman chief minister in the country’s history with the backing of over 190 directly-elected members as well as many of those entering the Punjab Assembly on the reserved seats for women and minorities.

However, the number of reserved seats to be allocated to different parties isn’t clear as the PTI-backed independents have joined the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will determine whether it is eligible for the purpose.

During the session starting at 10am, the House will first elect the speaker and the deputy speaker and then the chief minister.

On the other hand, the PML-N has summoned the meeting to be chaired by Maryam of its parliamentary party at 9am before the start of Punjab Assembly session.

Earlier on Wednesday, the PML-N chief organiser had told a meeting of her party’s MPAs that she would repeat the development work carried out by her father and uncle [Shehbaz Sharif] during their multiple stints as the provincial chief executive.

Listing a long list of targets, he said the PML-N would develop five IT cities in Punjab, provide loans to youth and improve the health and agriculture sectors besides attracting foreign investment.