Maryam Nawaz poised to become first female CM in election tomorrow

  • SIC CM’s candidate confident of giving surprise in the election

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly is set to witness a one-on-one contest for the post of chief minister (CM) on Monday (tomorrow) as nomination papers of PML-N nominee Maryam Nawaz and Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) Rana Aftab were declared valid after scrutiny.

Sunday noon was the deadline, announced by newly-elected Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan for submission of nomination papers for the post.

Malik Ahmed Khan scrutinized the nomination papers and announced the election for the coveted slot will be held in the assembly session on Monday.

Maryam Nawaz, the political scion of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, was nominated as the party’s candidate for the coveted position of the chief minister of the country’s most populous province, Punjab.

Meanwhile, PTI – at the eleventh hour – named Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan as its new candidate for the post following the provincial police’s attempt to arrest its earlier nominee, Mian Aslam Iqbal.

PTI leader Hammad Azhar noted that party founder Imran Khan had earlier nominated Mian Aslam Iqbal for the post but heavy contingents of the police force were deployed outside the Punjab Assembly to arrest him.

Citing the situation, Hammad Azhar said that the party leadership decided to nominate Rana Aftab after holding consultations with the former.

Earlier, both the candidates filed nomination papers in the PA secretary’s office on Sunday afternoon and PA Secretary Chaudhry Amir Habib received the nomination papers.

There were three nomination papers of Maryam Nawaz Sharif were submitted in the Assembly secretariat in which Col (R) Ayub Gadhi, Zeeshan Rafique and Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman proposed her while Mian Yawar Zaman, Salman Rafique and Khwaja Imran Nazir endorsed her for the CM election.

Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan, the nominated candidate of the SIC for Chief Minister, personally reached the Punjab Assembly and submitted the nomination papers to the Secretary of the Punjab Assembly.

‘SIC confident of surprise in CM’s election’

Later, Punjab Chief Minister nominee Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan of the SIC talked to media and said that he is contesting the election of the Chief Minister of Punjab as a protest.

Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan said that Sunni Ittehad Council is in a position to give surprise but many of his party’s newly-elected members are not being allowed to come to the House.

He said that the candidate of Sunni Ittehad Council will be successful.

Speaking to journalists, Rana Aftab condemned that the SIC members are not being allowed in the assemblies. “For us, the lives of our workers are more important than the posts,” he said, expressing confidence in winning the CM’s seat in Monday’s election.

He also urged the authorities concerned to let the SIC’s elected MPAs to join the assembly for the election of leader of the House.

Numbers game

It’s noteworthy that the PML-N has a substantial number of candidates, adding to the competitive nature of the election. The oath-taking ceremony occurred on Friday, with 321 out of 371 members of the Punjab Assembly taking their oaths.

Since PML-N and its allies have a clear majority in the House there are no obstacles for Maryam Nawaz to secure the top position.

A day earlier, PML-N clinched victory in the Punjab Assembly speaker and deputy speaker elections in the house numerically dominated by the party.

PML-N’s leader Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan was elected as PA Speaker, amassing a commanding 224 votes out of the total 327 cast in the house.

At the same time, Malik Zaheer Ahmed Channer, the PML-N candidate for the deputy speaker position, emerged victorious against Mohammad Moinuddin from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), garnering 220 votes.

Oath-taking of newly-elected CM to be held at Governor’s House

The swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected Chief Minister of Punjab will be held at the Governor’s House.

According to report, the swearing-in ceremony is scheduled at 2:30 PM on Monday (February 26, 2024) at Governor’s House Lahore.

The report said the invitations to participate in the oath-taking ceremony were issued to the central leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the leaders of the allied parties.

The report said the Members of the Punjab Assembly were instructed to enter the Governor’s House Lahore through the Alhamra Gate located at Kashmir Road linked to Mall Road.

It is worth mentioning that due to have a good majority in the House, PML-N’s nominated candidate Maryam Nawaz Sharif is expected to elect as new cheif minister of the province tomorrow.

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