PML-N’s Malik Ahmad Khan elected Punjab Assembly speaker

LAHORE (A1TV News) PML-N’s Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan has been elected the Punjab Assembly speaker with 224 votes.

A total of 324 lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches participated in the exercise, while 16 newly-elected assembly members are yet to take their oath. Sunni Ittehad Council’s nominee Malik Ahmad Khan Bhachar secured 96 votes while two votes were rejected. 

Following the announcement of results, outgoing speaker Sibtain Khan administered oath to Malik Ahmad Khan as his successor. 

The Punjab Assembly session is currently underway where newly-elected members are yet to elect the deputy speaker via a secret ballot.

Following the election of Malik Ahmad Khan as the speaker, the lawmkers will now cast vote to elect the deputy speaker.

The session, which was scheduled to begin at 4:00pm, started with a delay of one and a half hours, as it witnessed commotion when legislators from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) – which includes PTI-backed MPAs – shouted slogans against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on arrival of chief minister-designate Maryam Nawaz in the House.

PML-N lawmakers responded by raising slogans against the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Earlier, outgoing Speaker Sibtain Khan told reporters outside the Assembly building that Mian Aslam Iqbal, SIC’s nominee for the slot of Punjab chief minister, had yet to take the oath.

He said he was under obligation to administer oath to Iqbal and that a request for his production order was not made.

Khan asserted that he would not let anyone be arrested on the assembly premises, noting that a level-playing field was not being provided to PTI-backed candidates.

The PML-N has nominated Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan against Sunni Ittehad Council’s Malik Ahmad Khan Bhachar for the coveted slot of Punjab Assembly speaker.

Similarly, PML-N’s Malik Zaheer Iqbal Channer will contest against SIC’s Moeen Riaz for the office of deputy speaker. Their nomination papers have also been accepted after completion of scrutiny.

On Friday, the secretary of the outgoing speaker announced that elections for the speaker and deputy speaker will be held via a secret ballot today (Saturday) at 4:00pm under Rules 9 and 10 of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, 1997.

MPAs-elect take oath 

Earlier on Friday, more than 300 MPAs-elect in Punjab on Friday took oath pledging to serve the country to the best of their abilities. The swearing-in ceremony means the Punjab Assembly has begun its fresh journey after the Feb 8 general elections.

The crucial Punjab Assembly session got under way after a delay of more than two hours on Friday.

As many as 215 members of the PML-N and allies reached the assembly which saw sloganeering and protest by the Sunni Ittehad Council members. The two sides raised slogans against each other. There were 97 members of the opposition.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan administered oath to the newly-elected members.

Earlier, the session to elect the chief minister, the speaker and the deputy speaker was delayed. Officials cited no reason for delay in the all-important session, saying it’s a usual practice.

The speaker later made it clear that the MPAs-elect would be administered oath in the first session and the election of the chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker would take place in the next session as the Election Commission of Pakistan had yet to take a decision on reserved seats.

PTI’s candidate for the office of chief minister, Mian Aslam Iqbal, could not reach the assembly. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has named Haider Gilani as parliamentary leader. Meanwhile, PML-N’s Malik Ahmed Khan is expected to be made speaker of the provincial assembly.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, who remained central information secretary, took oath as an MPA and will assist Maryam Nawaz who is expected to take on the mantle of chief minister office. PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and president Shehbaz Sharif have decided to give the role to Marriyum Aurangzeb.

As a tradition, the treasury members have been allotted seats on the right of the speaker, while the opposition was allotted seats on the left.

Meanwhile, the PML-N sources revealed that Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan was likely to be made the speaker instead of Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman.

Maryam Nawaz withdraws from NA-119

Maryam Nawaz has sent a letter of withdrawal from NA-119 to the Election Commission of Pakistan. The ECP will conduct by-elections on this seat. The PML-N leader has retained the provincial assembly seat.

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