Speaker, deputy speaker to be elected in Sindh Assembly today

 The Sindh Assembly is set to hold elections on Sunday for the posts of speaker and deputy speaker a day after the newly-elected members took oath amid tight security. 

The scrutiny of the papers for both slots has been completed and the assembly will reconvene the session at 11am today, said the Sindh Assembly secretary. 

However, the session is yet to begin.

The voting will take place through a secret ballot and the arrangements in this regard have been completed. 

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) nominated Owais Qadir Shah and Anthony Naveed for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker, respectively. The nomination papers of both the candidates have been declared valid. 

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) nominated Sofia Saeed Shah for the speaker's post and Rashid Khan for the deputy speaker. Their papers have also been declared valid. 

A day earlier, at least 148 newly-elected Sindh Assembly members took oath in the House of 168 as parties took to the streets to hold demonstrations against the alleged rigging in the February 8 polls. 

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), PTI and Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi), had announced to hold a joint "peaceful" protest outside the assembly.

However, the situation turned tense before the swearing-in ceremony, as several workers, including women, clashed with the police party present there to keep the order.

Over 20 Qaumi Awami Tehreek workers, including women, were arrested and shifted to the police station during the clashes. The law enforcement officials also baton-charged the protestors.

The protests continued for hours and were called off after the police baton-charged and detained at least 30 protesters from near the Arts Council for staging a demonstration and raising slogans in the Red Zone area amid the imposition of Section-144.

On the other hand, the Punjab Assembly on Saturday elected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates Malik Ahmed Khan and Malik Zaheer Ahmed Channer as the House's speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.

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