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Pakistan elections: Speaker, Deputy Speaker slots filled by Pakistan Peoples Party

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Karachi | February 26, 2024 10:25:08 AM IST
In a significant development, members of the Sindh Assembly conducted a secret ballot and elected Owais Qadir Shah and Anthony Naveed of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, as reported by Dawn.

In the voting process, Shah secured 111 votes out of a total of 147, while (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) MQM-P''s Sofia Shah clinched 36 votes. Similarly, Naveed garnered 111 votes, while MQM-P''s Advocate Rashid Khan won 36 votes.

According to Dawn, the election followed the swearing-in ceremony of 147 legislators-elect from the PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) as members of the 16th provincial assembly. Agha Siraj Durrani, the outgoing Sindh Assembly speaker, administered the oath to 111 PPP members and 36 from the MQM-P on February 24.

However, notable absentees included nine (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) PTI-backed independent candidates, three from the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and two from Jamaat-i-Islami, protesting the election outcome.

Yesterday''s session, initially scheduled for 11 am, commenced with an 18-minute delay with Durrani presiding. After the recitation of the Holy Quran, the nine PTI-backed MPAs-elect, who hadn''t taken their oath on Saturday, were sworn in, along with Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) leader Muhammad Farooq, as per Dawn.

During the speaker election process, PTI-backed MPAs chanted slogans against alleged poll rigging and declined to participate in the voting. The atmosphere intensified when Ijaz Swati, a PTI-backed independent who joined the PPP, cast his vote amid accusations of "fraudulent election" and chants of "lota lota" (turncoats).

Amid the slogans of ''long live Bhutto,'' Shah took his oath of office in Sindhi, affirming to discharge his duties impartially and allowing every member to express their views freely.

Following his oath, Shah emphasised the importance of democracy and urged lawmakers to adhere to the rule book for effective parliamentary functioning, expressing gratitude to the PPP leadership and the people of Sindh for the overwhelming victory.

The election for the provincial chief minister is scheduled for February 26, with Murad Ali Shah nominated by the PPP and Ali Khursheedi by the MQM-P.

In the subsequent deputy speaker election, PPP''s Naveed emerged victorious, greeted by applause and pro-Bhutto slogans. Murad Ali Shah commended the new appointees and praised Durrani for his ten years of service, highlighting his resilience despite adversities.

He acknowledged Durrani''s unique legacy as a speaker, following in the footsteps of his father, and emphasising the unparalleled commitment of PPP members. (ANI)

 
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