–PTI’s Mushtaq Ghani elected as Speaker KP Assembly, Mehmood Jan elected his deputy
–PPP’s Agha Siraj Durrani and Rehana Leghari elected as speaker and deputy speaker, respectively, of Sindh Assembly
–Punjab Assembly and Balochistan Assembly to elect their speakers, deputies on Thursday
PESHAWAR: Maintaining its hold in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) clinched the speaker and deputy speaker slots in KP Assembly while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) managed to secure the same slots in Sindh Assembly again on Wednesday.
PTI’s Mushtaq Ghani was elected as the KP Assembly speaker while Mehmood Jan was elected as the deputy speaker.
Ghani received 81 votes while his opponent Awami National Party’s (ANP) Laiq Mohammad Khan received 27 votes out of a total 108 votes polled.
Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Nighat Orakzai could not poll her vote as she arrived late and the presiding officer Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota announced the end of the polling and began the counting process.
Orakzai protested in front of the speaker’s desk for not waiting for her. An independent candidate from PK-25 Deedar Khan also did not reach the House to poll his vote. According to reports, three independent MPAs backed the PTI candidates for speaker and deputy speaker while three members of the opposition benches also voted for the PTI’s nominee for the speaker’s election.
Members of the assembly chant “vote ko izzat do” (give respect to the vote) in protest.
After the election of the speaker and his oath-taking ceremony, the newly appointed speaker chaired the voting process for the slot of deputy speaker.
For the deputy speaker, PTI nominated Mehmood Jan and the joint opposition nominated Jamshaid Khan Mohmand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Polling was conducted using the secret ballot system and a polling booth was set up in the house. Each member approached the booth and stamped their ballot paper.
Mehmood Jan won the election by bagging 78 votes in contrast to the 30 votes gained by Jamshaid Khan. A total of 109 votes were cast for the election of deputy speaker, with one ballot being rejected.
During the session, media protested against the influx of outsiders to the press galleries of the house which posed a problem for journalists. Many visitors were allowed in the house despite assembly administration announcing that entry passes for visitors had been cancelled. The media boycotted the session and walked out of the house to register their protest.
The election for the new chief minister of the province would take place on Thursday after the proceeding will begin at 11am. The PTI has nominated Mahmood Khan for the position and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s (MMA) Mian Nisar Gul will contest from the joint opposition.
There are a total of 124 members in the KP Assembly in which the PTI is in a majority with 84 seats followed by the MMA which has 13 seats, ANP nine, PML-N six, PPP five and the PML-Q one seat. Elections were postponed on two seats, PK-78 Peshawar and PK-99 Dera Ismail Khan, following suicide attacks. ANP candidate Haroon Bilour, contesting from PK-78, and PTI candidate and former minister Ikramullah Gandapur, contesting from PK-99, had lost their lives in these suicide attacks.
Moreover, seven seats had fallen vacant after lawmakers, who had been elected simultaneously from provincial and national assembly seats, vacated their provincial seats. Out of these, six seats were vacated by PTI and one by ANP.
PTI’s Haider Ali Khan had won from NA-2 Swat-I and PK-3 Swat-II, Asad Qaiser bagged NA-18 Swabi-I and PK-44 Swabi-II, Pervez Khattak was declared successful on Nowshera’s NA-25, PK-61 and PK-64, Ali Amin Gandapur secured Dera Ismail Khan’s NA-38 and PK- 97 and ANP former chief minister Haider Khan Hoti was successful in NA-21 and PK-53 from Mardan.
Similarly, PTI’s former special assistant to chief minister from Swat, Amjad Ali, had won two provincial assembly seats, PK-6 and PK-7 from his native Swat. He retained the PK-6 seat and vacated the other.
Moreover, two reserved seats for women allotted to PTI were also vacant and are yet to be notified. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had also ordered a re-election in PK-23 Shangla after it emerged that the turnout of women voters in the constituency was less than the required 10 per cent. Shaukat Yousafzai of the PTI had emerged victorious in the July 25 general election from this constituency.
Meanwhile, PPP’s Agha Siraj Durrani retained his post as Sindh Assembly speaker while Rehana Leghari was elected as deputy speaker.
Durrani received 96 votes against Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Javed Hanif who received 59 votes.
The joint opposition had fielded Javed Hanif of MQM-P for the post of speaker and PTI’s Rabia Azfar Nizami for deputy speaker.
PPP’s Rehana Leghari was elected the deputy speaker of the provincial assembly after receiving 98 votes. PTI’s Rabia Azfar was the runner-up with 59 votes.
A total of 158 votes were cast for the deputy speaker’s election, with one ballot being rejected.
PTI’s Imran Ismail was noticeably absent from the session after his call for removing the boundaries of Bilawal House created friction with the PPP. The GDA’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi was also absent. Three members of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) including Younus Soomro, Sarwat Fatima and Mohammad Qasim were present in the House but did not cast their votes.
The elections for the posts were held through secret balloting. Nadir Magsi, a PPP MPA, conducted the election.
The PPP has already nominated former chief minister Murad Ali Shah as leader of the House for the second consecutive term. On the other hand, opposition parties have reached a consensus over the name of GDA’s Sheharyar Mahar.
There are a total of 168 seats in the assembly. Around 130 MPAs have been elected to the provincial assembly on general seats, while the remaining reserved seats for women and minorities have been divided among political parties according to their numbers on general seats.
According to the notified results, the PPP won 75 general seats, in addition to 17 women seats and five minority seats, bringing its total strength in the assembly to 97. The PTI has 23 general, five women and two minority seats, making a total of 30.
The MQM-P has a total of 21 MPAs, which include 16 on general seats, four on women reserved seats and one minority member. The fourth largest party in the House is the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) with a total of 13 MPAs, with 10 on general seats, two on women and one minority member.
The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan will have three MPAs in the Sindh Assembly with two on general seats and one female member, while a single MPA elected on general seats will represent the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.
Meanwhile, in a session of Punjab Assembly on Wednesday, the newly elected MPAs took their oaths. The maiden session of the 371-strong house has a majority of new faces. Out of 297 general seats of the assembly, at least 188 have been occupied by those who were not part of the previous house and a majority of them are first-timers.
The election for the speaker and deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly will take place on Thursday.
The newly elected members of the Balochistan Assembly also took oath on Wednesday and the election for speaker and deputy speaker will take place on Thursday.
Outgoing speaker Raheela Durrani will administer the oath to the new speaker who will subsequently conduct the election for the deputy speaker and administer the oath to the latter.
A six-party alliance led by the Balochistan Awami Party has already nominated former Balochistan chief minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo as its candidate for the post of speaker. However, the alliance has yet to announce the name for the slot of deputy speaker.
On the other hand, the BNP-Mengal and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal have yet to decide their candidates for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker.
The BAP and its allies have nominated the name of Abdul Quddus Bizenjo for Balochistan Assembly speaker, while the PTI has nominated Sardar Babar Moosa Khel as its nominee for deputy speaker.