ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) nominees Asad Qaiser and Qasim Suri were respectively elected as the speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly.
Qaiser was contesting against Khursheed Shah from the Pakistan Peoples Party. He received 176 votes whereas Shah got 146 votes.
A total of 330 votes were cast in the election for NA speaker, out of which 322 were accepted and eight were rejected. The PTI leader was administered oath by outgoing speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
Opposition members from the PML-N chanted slogans during the oath-taking and displayed posters of party supremo Nawaz Sharif, who is serving sentence in prison following his conviction in Avenfield corruption reference. MNAs from the Pakistan Peoples Party which is also sitting in opposition remained silent during this period.
Suri was elected as the deputy speaker by securing 183 out of a total of 328 votes. His contender, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s Asad Mahmood, managed to get 144 votes while one vote was rejected.
Later, Speaker Qaiser administered oath to newly-elected deputy speaker.
After having sworn-in, Suri said that he was thankful to Imran Khan, who reposed his trust in him and nominated a worker for deputy speaker’s post.
He said that a relatively smaller and deprived province was given importance through his nomination, promising to get rights for Balochistan.
Speaker Qaiser, who previously served as speaker for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, won NA-18 Swabi-I and PK-44 Swabi-2 constituencies on the PTI’s ticket during the July 25 general election.
He belongs to the Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and graduated from the University of Peshawar before moving on to a career in education. He joined the PTI in 1996, prior to which he was a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing. In the PTI, he served as district president of Swabi and provincial president of the party.
Among those who cast the votes were PTI chairman and prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan, and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who has been elected to the National Assembly for the first time.
Before the elections for speakership got under way, the five MNA-elects who were yet to take oath of their office were sworn in, taking the tally of elected MNAs to 329.
While presenting his views in the House, Ayaz Sadiq said that the ECP didn’t carry out its responsibilities adequately, adding that it happened despite widening the authorities relegated in the Election Act 2017.
The outgoing NA speaker said that he will not use words which will be condescending towards the designation of the speaker.
He said that when the parliament members were called ‘thieves’, it was quite disheartening for him.
Sadiq further said that he was accused of leaning more towards the opposition in his tenure.
In his remarks on the occasion earlier, Sadiq, who chaired today’s session of the 15th National Assembly, said the 14th assembly performed in an excellent manner and expressed confidence that the treasury and opposition benches will continue to work together in future in the best national interest.
As the house resumed session, newly elected speaker Asad Qaiser thanked the members for reposing confidence in him and pledged to live up to their expectations.
Addressing the session after taking oath, Qaiser said he will move forward with the consultation of all the elected members.
“It is our duty to rise above personal gains and work for Pakistan. Pakistan is our identity,” he said.
He observed that the speakership is a big responsibility and that he will do his best to perform his responsibilities in an effective manner. He assured that the elected representatives will be fully facilitated by the staff of the national assembly for legislation.
PPP leader Khursheed Shah, who was the joint opposition’s candidate for the speakership, congratulated the newly elected speaker and vowed that his party will fully play the role of the opposition but will not create any hurdle in legislation aimed at the welfare of people and national interests.
“We will not let Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s sacrifices for democracy go to waste,” he said, adding, “We will make our best efforts to work for Pakistan, its Constitution and law.”
Shah also resolved to deliver on the promises made to the public, and prayed that the democratic government and Parliament complete their five-year tenure.
Murtaza Javed Abbasi of the PML-N also felicitated Asad Qaiser over his election and said his party will move forward as per the parliamentary traditions.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly elected PTI nominee Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani as speaker. He secured the position with 81 votes.
Ghani’s rival, Awami National Party nominee Laiq Muhammad Khan, received 27 votes in contrast.
PTI’s Mehmood Jan defeated PML-N’s Jamshed Mohmand to claim the slot of deputy speaker. He received 78 votes, while his opponent got 30 votes.
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Agha Siraj Durrani was re-elected speaker of Sindh Assembly today. With 96 votes, he defeated MQM-P’s Javed Hanif (59 votes) to retain his post.
PPP’s nominee Rehana Legahri was elected as the deputy speaker of the assembly. She was contesting against PTI’s Rabia Azfar Nizami for the post.
The Balochistan Assembly will elect its speaker and deputy speaker on Thursday (today).
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily