Members start arriving at National Assembly for prime minister's election

The newly-elected members started arriving at the Parliament House on Sunday (today) to elect the prime minister following February 8 general elections.

The Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) arranged a sumptuous breakfast for their members at the speaker’s banquet hall.

According to schedule, the assembly session will begin at 11 am for the election prime minister.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Omar Ayub Khan are the two contestants for the top slot of the country.

Shehbaz is the favourite candidate to become prime minister as he has the backing of eight parties.

Shehbaz is the member of the powerful Sharif family which has been in Pakistan’s political arena for almost 40 years as his elder brother and three-time prime minister Nawaz was inducted in the Punjab as finance minister during General Zia-ul-Haq regime in 1981.

Omar Ayub, on the other hand, is the grandson of Field Marshal General Ayub Khan who imposed first martial law in the country in 1958. His father Gohar Ayub Khan has been active in politics and remained member of the National Assembly from the platform of the PML-N.

Both the candidates submitted their nomination papers to the National Assembly Secretariat, which were declared valid by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq after the scrutiny, conducted in the presence of the leaders from both sides.

Omar Ayub had raised an objection against Shehbaz’s nomination, saying the PML-N leader was ‘gifted’ his seat through manipulation in Form-47. He said he could not contest the PM election because he had lost as per Form-45. He has been wrongly administered the oath as MNA and thus cannot be a candidate for the prime minister’s position, Mr Ayub said in a tweet. The objection was rejected.

Besides the PML-N, Shehbaz has the backing of the PPP, MQM-P, PML-Q, BAP, PML-Z, IPP, and the NP having a total of 205 members. Two MNAs-elect from the MQM-P and PPP have yet to take oath. In order to become the leader of the house, a candidate requires 169 votes in the 336-member house.

On the other hand, the PTI has 102 lawmakers, of which one member has not taken the oath.

Meanwhile, the JUI-F and BNP-Mengal are likely to boycott the poll.

It may be recalled that 304 members have taken oath while the ECP has withheld the notification of reserved seats for women and minorities as it has not yet decided on the plea of PTI-SIC for their quota of reserved seats.

THE PROCEDURE

On the order of the speaker, the bells will be rung for five minutes before the election process of the prime minister begins. The purpose of ringing the bells is to gather all the members inside the assembly hall.

No one will be allowed to go out of the hall or come in until the leader of the House is elected.

At the end of the voting, the Speaker will announce the results.

Nomination papers were filed to fill Pakistan’s top offices on Saturday, as the nation eagerly awaits completion of election cycle, which was delayed after the census and the subsequent delimitations across the country.

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