SA elects Shah, Anthony as speaker, deputy speaker amid PTI, JI boycott

  • Election for CM’s slot being held today with Murad Ali Shah, and Ali Khursheedi in run
  • Awaise Qadir Shah invites all MPAs to work together for welfare of people

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) candidate Awais Qadir Shah was elected the 12th Speaker of the Sindh Assembly and Naveed Anthony as deputy speaker, respectively through the secret balloting held on Sunday.

Out of the total 147 votes cast on Sunday, Shah secured 111 votes while his rival MQM-P’s Sofia Shah clinched 36 votes. Meanwhile, Naveed Anthony also secured 111 votes while MQM-P’s Advocate Rashid Khan won 36 votes.

The development comes in the second session of the Sindh Assembly a day after as many as 147 legislators-elect of the PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) were sworn in as members of the 16th provincial assembly.

The outgoing speaker Agha Siraj Durrani announced the results after the conclusion of the voting process where PPP’s Awais Qadir bagged victory after securing 111 votes meanwhile his opponent MQM’s Advocate Sofia Shah secured 36 votes.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) boycotted the polling for election of speaker and deputy speaker of Sindh Assembly.

Later, the outgoing Sindh Assembly speaker administered oath to the newly-elected speaker Awais Qadir Shah. Syed Awais Qadir Shah was elected as MPA from PS-23 Sukkur with 69,266 votes defeating GDA’s Inayatullah who secured 21,137 votes.

Earlier, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani administered oath to elected Sindh Assembly members with PPP as the largest parliamentary group in the legislature with 114 seats. MQM-P is the next largest group in assembly with 36 members, while the Sunni Ittehad Council has nine members, GDA-3 and Jamaat Islami one seat. The PPP enjoys a comfortable majority in the house, and it doesn’t need support from any other party to get its chief minister elected.

‘Speaker pledges unbiased attitude’

Soon after taking oath, Speaker Sindh Assembly Syed Awais Qadir Shah pledged to show an unbiased attitude towards MPAs, irrespective of their party affiliation.

He invited all the MPAs to work together for the welfare of the people. Awais also thanked his party leadership for nominating him as Speaker and expressed gratitude to people for electing him as MPA. The speaker said that it was a proud moment for him as this assembly passed a resolution for the creation of the country.

“The father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, sat in this assembly while Liaquat Ali Khan waved the Pakistani flag here”, he said. He said that the assembly, in line with the constitution, would complete the next five years.

PTI-supported nine members take oath in SA

The Sunni Ittehad Council’s (SIC) PTI-supported nine members and a Jamaat-e-Islami member took oath in Sindh Assembly on Sunday.

Murad Ali Shah welcomed the members who take oath today and said, “We hope we all will play a role for betterment of the province”.

People’s Party’s candidate for Speaker’s office, Awais Qadir Shah also held a meeting with the PTI’s independent members and welcomed them in the house. “Hopefully you will sit in a better environment in the house,” he added.

The PPP had nominated Awais Qadir Shah as its candidate for Speaker and Naveed Anthony as Deputy Speaker for Sindh Assembly.

The MQM-Pakistan has nominated Advocate Sofia Shah and Advocate Rashid Khan as the party’s candidates for speaker and deputy speaker’s offices.

The election for Sindh’s chief minister will be held on Monday (tomorrow) and Murad Ali Shah is the PPP’s pick for the CM office.

Sindh Assembly Secretariat has announced that the candidates for chief minister could submit their nomination papers from 1:00pm to 3:00pm today. The scrutiny of candidates will be completed by 6:00pm and final list of the candidates will be displayed at 7:00pm this evening.

Shortly after, the election for the deputy speaker was held, which saw PPP’s Naveed emerging victorious. Naveed, who was felicitated by members of the House on his win, took his oath of office in Urdu and then proceeded to embrace and shake hands with Shah as pro-Bhutto slogans again rang out in the hall.

Once the elections were wrapped, PPP’s Murad Ali Shah congratulated the new speaker and deputy speaker. At the same time, he also sang the praises of Durrani, saying that he had served as speaker for 10 years.

He noted that despite being arrested and put in jail, Durrani continued to fulfil his responsibilities. “Nowhere else will you find this. Only PPP and its members can do this,” Murad said.

Murad also pointed out that Durrani had the “unique distinction” of being speaker of the house just like his father.

PTI boycotts Speaker, Deputy Speaker’s election

On the other hand, the PTI boycotted the election of speaker and deputy speaker Sindh Assembly.

As per details, the PTI-backed independent candidates announced they will neither support MQM-P candidate nor PPP nominated candidate for the speaker and the deputy speaker of Sindh Assembly.

Today’s session, which was scheduled to begin at 11am, began with a delay of 18 minutes with outgoing speaker Durrani in the chair. Following the recitation of the Holy Quran, the nine PTI-backed MPAs-elect — who had not taken their oath on Saturday — were sworn in.

As the polling process for electing the speaker commenced, PTI-backed MPAs chanted slogans against alleged poll rigging and refused to participate in the voting. PTI-backed Bilal Khan Jatoi called the process a “fraudulent election”.

The lawmakers also shouted “lota lota” (turncoats) when Ijaz Swati was called to cast his vote. It must be noted that Swati, who contested and won the elections as a PTI-backed independent, had switched sides and joined the PPP.

After being announced as the winner for the election of the speaker, slogans of ‘long live Bhutto’ reverberated in the hall as Shah walked up to the dais and took his oath of office in Sindhi.

MQM-P fields Ali Khursheedi for Sindh CM’s slot

The MQM-P has fielded its candidate for Sindh chief ministership and has decided Ali Khursheedi as its candidate. It is to be noted that the MQM-P has won 26 seats in the February 8 polls.

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