ISLAMABAD: Malik Ahmed Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was chosen as the Punjab Assembly (PA) speaker on Saturday, defeating the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) nominee in a secret ballot, according to A News.

The second session of the newly-elected Punjab legislature, presided over by departing Speaker Sibtain Khan, witnessed members of the PML-N and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which comprises MPAs who won with the PTI’s support, screaming slogans against one another.

During the assembly speaker election, up to 327 MPA-elects voted. Almost 16 candidates did not take oaths today since they are still missing from the election.

Malik Ahmed Khan earned 224 votes, while the opposing candidate, Ahmed Khan Bachar, received 96. Two votes were rejected during the count.

A PTI candidate, Suri, won the election for deputy speaker as well. He earned 183 votes, edging out Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) candidate Maulana Asad Mehmood, who won 144 votes.

Outgoing Speaker Sibtain Khan then handed the speaker’s oath to Malik Ahmed Khan, amidst loud chanting from PML-N legislators.
After receiving the majority of the votes, the PML-N nominee was chosen as the Punjab Assembly’s deputy speaker. His oath was delivered by newly elected PA Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan.

A large police detachment was deployed outside the event to ensure the maintenance of peace and order during the assembly.

Six MPAs took their oaths today, including PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shafay Hussain and SIC’s Hafiz Farhat Abbas and Waseem Khan Badozai, as well as independent candidates Rai Murtaza Iqbal Khan, Fateh Khaliq, and Tashakul Abbas Warraich, who were absent from the House’s opening session on Friday.

The speaker and deputy speaker were elected by secret ballot in accordance with Rules 9 and 10 of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab’s Rules of Procedure, 1997.

PML-N candidates Malik Ahmad Khan and Malik Zaheer Iqbal Channer have filed nomination papers for the positions of Punjab Assembly speaker and deputy speaker.

The Sunni Ittehad Council nominated Ahmad Khan Bhachar and Muhammad Moeenuddin Riaz for the offices of speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.

In the opening session of the Punjab Assembly, departing Speaker Sibtain Khan administered the oath of office to 313 newly elected MPAs.
Out of these 321 parliamentarians, 221 belonged to the PML-N and its allies, 98 to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), and one each to the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and PML-Zia.

It is worth noting that the PML-N has become the largest party in the Punjab Assembly with the induction of 13 MPA-elects from the PPP, ten from the PML-Q, and five from the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP).

Having won the majority, the PML-N has stated that it will establish a government in the province, led by Maryam.

SIC declares PA procedures ‘invalid’.

Meanwhile, Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza declared the assembly’s proceedings “illegal” in the absence of the party’s MPA-elects on reserved seats.

He alleged that SIC members were prevented from attending the assembly meetings. “A new history of politics of revenge is about to be made,” he went on to say.

Taking the floor in the provincial house, SIC leader Rana Aftab said that the Punjab house was “incomplete” and pledged to fight every decision made by the House in court.

According to the SIC leader, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has still to deliberate on 27 reserved seats for women and minorities.

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