Speaker, deputy speaker election: Polling underway

Speaker, deputy speaker election: Polling underway

ISLAMABAD:  Polling is underway for the election of speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly is taking place today.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shahbaz Sharif are attending the session. Asif Ali Zardari was absent from the house as his name was pronounced to cast his ballot

In an informal talk with reporters,Imran Khan expressed the hope " a good match is expected to  take place given the good wicket".

PTI has fielded Asad Qaisar and Qasim Suri for the post of the speaker and deputy speaker respectively against the  Khursheed Shah and  Assad Mehmood of the joint  opposition candidates. 

The PTI has the required numbers in the lower house of the parliament and expected  clinch both the positions.

The election for the speaker and the deputy speaker is carried through secret balloting.

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).