Members of the 14th National Assembly (NA) on Monday elected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominees Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Murtaza Javed Abbasi as the legislature’s speaker and deputy speaker, respectively, with a majority vote for the next five years.
The speaker’s election was conducted through a secret ballot and was monitored by outgoing speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza.
Ayaz Sadiq, the new speaker, clinched 258 out of a total 313 votes that were cast. His closest rival was Shehryar Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who bagged 31 votes. Iqbal Qadri, from the Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), came in third securing 23 votes.
Though the PTI won 35 NA seats, the absence of party chief Imran Khan and five seats vacated by Khan, Javed Hashmi, Asad Qaisar and Pervez Khattak curtailed their number to 30. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed of Awami Muslim League (AML) voted for PTI’s candidates.
Out of the 313 votes cast, one was declared invalid. Ayaz Sadiq was elected to the National Assembly from Lahore’s NA-122, defeating PTI Chairman Imran Khan with a margin of around 9,000 votes.
After counting by the National Assembly secretary, Speaker Fehmida Mirza announced the result and declared Ayaz Sadiq as the 19th Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament.
Later, the new speaker-elect Ayaz Sadiq took oath which was administered by Dr Fehmida Mirza.
Dr Fehmida Mirza was elected as 18th Speaker of the House with two-thirds majority. She had taken oath on March 19, 2008 and served as speaker till June 03, 2013.
Sadiq’s oath was followed by slogans and desk thumping from the benches as well as the galleries. After taking oath of office, Sadiq took the speaker’s chair to conduct elections for deputy speaker.
Murtaza Javed Abbasi bagged the same number of votes as Sadiq, 258, while PTI’s Munazza Hassan received 31 votes with Kishwar Zahra of MQM clinching 23 votes.
Later, the new NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq administered oath to Abbasi.
Abbasi was elected to the House from Abbottabad, the Hazara belt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
After taking oath, the newly elected speaker asked political workers in lobbies not to raise political slogans and observe restraint.
PPP, other parties support PML-N candidates:
Earlier, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) announced to withdraw its nominees for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker in the NA. The PPP had nominated Nawab Yousuf Talpur as a candidate for the office of speaker and Ghulam Rasool Koreja for the office of deputy speaker.
The decision to withdraw candidates was announced by PPP President Amin Fahim after a round of talks with the PML-N. Resultantly, all PPP legislators voted for PML-N’s candidates for both slots.
Other smaller political parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Qaumi Watan Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Party, PML-F, independent group from FATA and Jamat-e-Islami also extended their support to the PML-N candidates.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in his maiden address to parliamentarians on Monday said being custodian of the House, he would remain impartial as he believed in smooth functioning of the NA.
After being elected with majority votes Sadiq thanked PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, leaders of various parties and MNAs for honouring him with the office.
He said all parliamentarians should keep their sprits high, show exemplary performance and work hard to give practical shape to the golden sayings of the father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and the vision of Allama Mohammad Iqbal.
He called on the members to fully participate in the proceedings of the House and take decisions in Pakistan’s national interest.
“We should all contribute in the progress and prosperity of the country and must think about what we can do for our motherland,” he added. Sadiq said they could change the destiny of the nation if they work together and take collective decisions in the larger interests of the country.
He also appreciated the outgoing speaker Fehmida Mirza for her sagacity and wisdom in conducting the House. He assured all possible support to the print and electronic media and said the press gallery would continue its important task of informing the public about proceeding of the National Assembly and building a good image of the country all across the globe.