Process to form new govts starts in Punjab, Sindh

Newly-elected Punjab Assembly members to take oath today n Governor Tessori convenes Sindh Assembly session tomorrow

PPP all set to form next govt in Sindh for record fourth consecutive time.


LAHORE/KARACHI   -  Following the February 8 general elections, the constitutional pro­cess to form a new government in Punjab is starting here today with the oath taking of newly-elected Punjab Assembly members. 

In this connection, Punjab Governor Mohammad Balighur Rehman has summoned the Punjab Assembly to meet on Friday (today) at 10 am. Outgo­ing Speaker Punjab Assembly Mohammad Sibtain Khan will administer the oath to the new members in today’s session. 

Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori has summoned session of the provincial legis­lature at 11am on Saturday (to­morrow). Following the oath-taking, Punjab Assembly speaker will announce the schedule for election of the speaker and dep­uty speaker, expected to take place on Saturday. Subsequently, the newly-elected speaker will announce the schedule for the election of the new chief minis­ter, slated for either the same day or the following day (Sunday).

The parliamentary party of the PML-N has recommended names of Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman and Zaheer Channar for the office of speaker and deputy speaker, respectively. Also, the party has nominated Maryam Nawaz Sharif for the slot of chief minis­ter. She is set to become the first woman chief minister of Punjab in a few days as her party has got a simple majority to form gov­ernment even without the back­ing of allied parties.

On the other hand, the PTI has nominated Mian Aslam Iqbal for the office of chief minister. Mian Aslam has been granted protec­tive bail by the Peshawar High Court to travel to Lahore for par­ticipation in the election process. The PTI-backed members in the Punjab Assembly, numbering 116, have united under the um­brella of the Sunni Ittehad Coun­cil (SIC) to secure reserved seats, despite the SIC not having any MPA in the assembly.

strength in Punjab Assembly has touched the figure of 203. The PML-N had initially won 137 general seats on February 8 polls, however, with the join­ing of 25 independently elect­ed members, its tally rose to 162 in a house of 371. Based on this number, the Nawaz party has got 36 seats reserved for wom­en and five seats reserved for non-Muslims. There are 66 re­served seats for women in Pun­jab Assembly while 8 are re­served for non-Muslims. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan issued a notification on Thursday for 42 women seats and five non-Muslim seats. Of these, 36 women seats have been allocated to the PML-N, while the PPP, the PML-Q and the IPP have secured three, two and one seat, respectively. These parties do not meet the criteria to secure non-Muslim seats due to their limited representation.

To qualify for a non-Muslim seat, a party must have at least 37 members, while the require­ment for a women’s seat is 4.5 general seats. Separately, Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori has summoned a session of the provincial assembly at 11am on February 24 (Saturday). In a no­tification he said: “In exercise of the powers conferred upon me […] I, Kamran Khan Tessori, Governor of Sindh, hereby sum­mon the Provincial Assembly of Sindh to meet on Saturday, Feb­ruary 24, at 11am, at the Sindh Assembly building, Karachi.”

In the inaugural session, the newly-elected members will take their oath and then they will elect the House’s speaker under the assembly rules. As per the rules, the outgoing speaker will preside over the sitting for the election of the new speaker.

In case of his absence, a per­son nominated by the provin­cial governor will head the sit­ting. Immediately after electing the speaker, the session will pro­ceed to elect a deputy speaker.

After picking the speaker and the deputy speaker, the sitting will elect one of its members as the chief minister. As per the ECP’s results, PPP won most provincial assembly seats (84) followed by MQM-P (28), while independent candidates bagged 14, GDA 2, and JI two seats in the February 8 polls in Sindh.

In addition to this, the PPP got 26 reserved seats for women and minorities. While, MQM-P was allocated eight reserved seats as per their strength in the assembly. Rejecting the poll re­sults, the PTI, JI, and GDA agreed to launch a “joint struggle” against the massive “rigging” in the recent elections.

The parties also decided that province-wide protest demon­strations would be held on the day when the inaugural session of the PA is convened. Terming the elections “rigid” and “anti-state” the GDA earlier announced that its two winning candidates would not take oath as lawmakers. Set­ting an example, JI Emir Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman announced he would be relinquishing his provincial assembly seat, PS-129, from Karachi as he did not win the seat rather it was the PTI-backed candidate who had won the seat. Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Naeem claimed that his PTI-backed opponent won the seat and he does not want a “charity” seat.