Power show today to elect speaker, deputy

Power show today to elect speaker, deputy

ISLAMABAD: In what is expected to be a close match, the National Assembly will elect its new speaker and deputy speaker for the next five years today (Wednesday).

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate, Asad Qaisar, who submitted his nomination papers for election of the speaker on Monday, will face former opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah in one-on-one competition.

The PTI, presently having 150 members in the House, claims support of a total of over 174 MNAs and it would be big upset for the party if results in elections for the seats of speaker and deputy speaker do not come in its favour. The PTI would own victory of its candidates to support of its allied parties, including the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan National Party (BNP), Awami Muslim League (AML) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).

It may be easy going for the PTI candidates if Khursheed Shah faced any opposition from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders in latest developments were seen reluctant to accept Shahbaz Sharif as the candidate of opposition for election of the prime minister.

Election for the seat of deputy speaker will take place between the PTI’s Qasim Suri and Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s son Asad Mehmood, who is the candidate of the grand opposition.

As many as 324 members of the National Assembly out of the MNAs who were notified as successful took oath from the outgoing speaker on Monday. The remaining five MNAs, if turn up in the House, will take oath today. Outgoing Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will conduct the election of the speaker and will also administer oath to him. The new speaker will conduct the election for deputy speaker’s seat.

The parliamentarians will receive ballot papers from the secretary of the National Assembly before moving to the ballot box to be placed near the speaker’s dais. The counting of votes will be held in the presence of the NA secretary and nominated polling agents of the two sides.

The National Assembly will elect the new prime minister on August 17. The nomination papers from candidates for the prime minister will be received by 2:00pm tomorrow (Thursday).

Meanwhile, in Punjab, the PTI has named Pervaiz Elahi as candidate for speaker and Dost Muhammad Mazari as deputy speaker. The PML-N has named Chaudhry Iqbal Gujjar for the speaker. The party has nominated Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as its candidate for the post of Punjab chief minister.

In Sindh, Siraj Durrani and Rehana Laghari are the candidates for speaker and deputy speaker's slots. In KP Assembly, the PTI has nominated Mushtaq Ghani and Mehmood Jan for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker. The joint opposition, led by the MMA, has nominated Laiq Muhammad Khan of the Awami National Party (ANP) for speaker.

In the Balochistan Assembly, the candidate for the speaker is former Balochistan chief minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo. There is a deadlock in talks between the PTI and BAP on the nomination of deputy speaker.