Newly elected MNAs sworn-in as ruckus mars maiden session of National Assembly

The 16th National Assembly on Wednesday came into effect with the oath-taking of the lawmakers elected by the people during the February 8 general elections.

The oath to the newly elected MNAs was administered by Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in ruckus-hit session.

The new oath-taking lawmakers include the country's political leadership from major parties including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and others.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, President Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari, Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman are among the top politicians who were seen taking oath for their membership to the Parliament's the lower house.

The session started with a ruckus as soon as the national anthem ended with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed lawmakers, who have joined the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), surrounding the speaker's dias. 

The party had already announced it would protest in today's session against the alleged rigging done in the February 8 general polls. 

It was after an appeal by the speaker that the lawmakers settled down and the oath was taken by all the members. 

However, as soon as the oath was administered the PTI-SIC lawmakers asked the speaker that they be allowed to speak on a point of order. 

But their request was turned down, as the speaker informed them that they could raise the point of order after they had signed the role of member register.

With this, the speaker directed the NA secretary to summon the lawmakers one by one to sign the role of member register.

Amid the signing, the SIC lawmakers started chanting "qaidi number 804" the number given to PTI founder Imran Khan in the Adiala jail where he remains incarcerated since August 2023.

In response, the PML-N lawmakers started shouting "ghari chor" (watch thief) in the House. 

National Assembly to elect its PM on March 4

Now that the members have taken oath the election for the new speaker and deputy speaker will be held.

For the aforementioned coveted constitutional posts, aspiring candidates are required to submit their nomination papers before 12pm today — with the voting set to be held on Friday (tomorrow).

This would be followed by the election of the prime minister, for which the candidates are required to file their nomination papers on March 3, whereas the election for the country's chief executive would be held next week on March 4 (Monday).

Sources say that the newly-elected prime minister is likely to take oath as the country's chief executive on the same day.

The PML-N, which has the backing of the PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and others, has nominated Shehbaz Sharif as its candidate for the top office.

Whereas, the PTI has fielded Omar Ayub Khan as its candidate for the country's premier.

Composition of lower house

The National Assembly comprises 336 members out of which 266 are elected whereas 70 seats are reserved for women and minorities. These reserved seats are allotted to the parties as per their strength in the house.

Moreover, 169 votes are required to be elected as prime minister. 

In light of this, Shehbaz seems to be in the pole position to secure the victory.

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