Ayaz Sadiq holds out olive branch to opposition after becoming NA speaker

Ayaz Sadiq holds out olive branch to opposition after becoming NA speaker


Ayaz Sadiq of PML-N was elected speaker by securing 199 votes

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member Ayaz Sadiq was elected speaker of the National Assembly on Friday. 

The results of election held on the basis of secret ballot were announced by the outgoing speaker, Raja Pervez Ashraf. 

According to results, Ayaz Sadiq polled 199 votes while his rival PTI-SIC nominee Aamir Dogar got 91 votes. A total 291 votes were polled and one was rejected.

After the election, Ayaz Sadiq went to Aamir Dogar and shook hands with him. He also shook hands with Hamid Raza and Omar Ayub Khan. 

Later, outgoing speaker Ashraf administered oath to Ayaz Sadiq.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and nominated prime minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated him on his election.

In his address, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq thanked all the members for their support in the election. Intentionally or inadvertently, Ayaz called Asif Zardari “president” when he thanked him.

Later, PTI-SIC nominee Aamir Dogar congratulated Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. 

He addressed the speaker that you were a nominee of seven parties and he was representing single party. We contested election without special seats. “I polled 91 votes and you got 199.” 

Dogar said he was ready to cooperate [with treasury]. “Our mandate that was robbed should be returned. The reserved seats according to our mandate should be returned to us.”

He said the PTI founder was in jail. He (PTI founder) told him that he was ready to speak [with anyone] for the sake of the people, but he should be given back his mandate.

Session begins on sour note 

Earlier, the all-important National Assembly session to elect the speaker and deputy speaker through a secret ballot began on a sour note. 

No sooner had the session began and Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf read out rules of business than PTI-SIC MNAs Omar Ayub and Barrister Gohar spoke on a point of order and demanded that the speaker send "strangers in the house" out of the assembly.

The opposition members raised slogans and refused to listen to the speaker and treasury members. 

Omar Ayub and Barrister Gohar once again showed the PTI founder's poster demanding his release from jail. Ayub also pointed out the injustice being done to Aliya Hamza who has been in incarceration despite winning the election. 

As the session began, Barrister Gohar Khan also raised the point that the lower house of the parliament was “incomplete” as the reserved seats had not been allotted to the Sunni Ittehad Council yet.

He addressed Speaker Ashraf that he was the custodian of the House. “You don’t belong to any party. You belong to this House. The point we are taking up, you should be taking up yourself and you would be assisting too,” he said. 

Gohar argued, “Article 51 mandates that the House has to be in full, including the members reserved for women and non-Muslims. Before that, the House is incomplete.”

Omar Ayub, in his address to the House, raised objection that parliament is incomplete.

“The House is incomplete without women. How can you do this procedure? How can we run this House?” Ayub asked Speaker Ashraf. 

“Form 45 says one thing, Form 47 says something else. Let the rightful candidates come into this House, who had a rightful mandate. Let the PTI founder come into this House. 

“We want justice. It’s in PTI’s name,” Ayub said as PTI-backed lawmakers around him applauded him for his words.

When PML-N member Rana Tanveer started his speech, the PTI-SIC members started raising slogan. The speaker urged them to listen to the speech silently.

The speaker then returned to the session’s agenda.

MQM-P's boycott 

The MQM-P boycotted the voting but Ayaz Sadiq persuaded them to cast their votes.

Later, voting started to elect the speaker. The ballot box was sealed as the election was held on the basis of secret ballot.  

Contestants for speaker and deputy speaker 

Ayaz Sadiq of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Aamir Dogar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Sunni Ittehad Council (PTI-SIC) contested for the coveted post of speaker. 

Ghulam Mustafa Shah of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Junaid Akbar of SIC contested for the post of deputy speaker.

Meanwhile, the members who did not take oath in the National Assembly session on Thursday were asked to be sworn in. 

Prime minister's election 

Meanwhile, the schedule for the election of the top slot of prime minister of Pakistan has been announced.

Citing the schedule released by the National Assembly Secretariat, Dunya News reports that the election for the coveted position will take place on March 3 (Sunday).

As per the schedule, aspiring candidates can obtain nomination papers by 2pm on March 2 (Saturday), and the completion of scrutiny of the nomination papers will be ensured the same day by 3pm.

The PML-N has picked Shehbaz Sharif and the PTI-SIC has chosen Omar Ayub for the position of prime minister. For victory, a candidate must secure 169 votes.