Maryam Nawaz elected Punjab’s first female CM amid SIC boycott

In a historic development, Maryam Nawaz, the nominee of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has secured the position of the first female Chief Minister of Punjab province. The momentous occasion unfolded during a session that commenced at 11:30 am and was presided over by the newly-elected Punjab Assembly Speaker, Malik Ahmad Khan.

The proceedings, however, were not without turmoil, as members of the opposition Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) chose to boycott the session, leading to an uproar in the Punjab Assembly. At the outset of the session, Speaker Khan emphasized that only elections for the Chief Minister would take place, with no allowance for lawmakers to address the assembly.

As Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members walked out, Speaker Khan took the initiative to form a committee, comprising Khawaja Salman Rafique, Salman Nazeer, Samiullah, and Khalil Tahir Sindhu, aimed at convincing the boycotting legislators to return to the Assembly.

PML-N's Senior Vice President, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, emerged as the party's candidate for the Chief Minister position, competing against Rana Aftab Ahmed of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC). Meanwhile, in Sindh, PPP's Murad Ali Shah is set to face off against Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) candidate Ali Khurshidi.

In a last-minute decision, PTI named Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan as its new candidate for the post, prompted by the provincial police's attempt to arrest its earlier nominee, Mian Aslam Iqbal.

The numerical dynamics played a crucial role, with the PML-N boasting a significant number of candidates, intensifying the competition in the election. The oath-taking ceremony, held on Friday, saw 321 out of 371 members of the Punjab Assembly taking their oaths.

With PML-N and its allies commanding a clear majority in the House, Maryam Nawaz faced no obstacles in securing the top position. A day earlier, PML-N celebrated victory in the Punjab Assembly speaker and deputy speaker elections, further solidifying their dominance in the assembly. Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan was elected as PA Speaker, securing a commanding 224 votes out of the total 327 cast in the house. Simultaneously, Malik Zaheer Ahmed Channer, the PML-N candidate for the deputy speaker position, emerged victorious against Mohammad Moinuddin from the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), garnering 220 votes.

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