Punjab MPAs will take oath in today first session

The Punjab and Sindh assemblies are gearing up for the induction of their newly elected representatives, with inaugural sessions scheduled for today (Friday) and tomorrow, respectively.

Meanwhile, the PTI is preparing to lodge a protest against what it alleges to be the unfair acquisition of the party’s Punjab Assembly seats through electoral irregularities.

On Thursday, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman called for the inaugural session of the 18th provincial assembly to convene on Friday following the partial issuance of notifications by the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding lawmakers’ appointments to seats reserved for women and minorities. The outgoing Punjab Assembly speaker, Sibtain Khan, will administer the oath to the members of the new assembly.

Following protocol, the assembly secretary will then announce a four-member panel of chairpersons nominated by the speaker for each session, as per Rule 13(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, 1997. These panel members are authorized to preside over house proceedings in the absence of the speaker and deputy speaker.

Subsequently, the secretary will delineate the procedure for electing the speaker and deputy speaker, as stipulated in Rules 9 and 10 of the Punjab Assembly Rules. The session will adjourn to reconvene for the election of the new speaker and deputy speaker of the house, followed by the election of the leader of the house, i.e., the chief minister.

The Punjab Assembly boasts 371 seats, comprising 297 general seats and 74 reserved seats (66 for women and eight for minorities), making it the largest elected house in the country.

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While the PML-N has nominated Maryam Nawaz Sharif for chief minister, the PTI has put forward Mian Aslam Iqbal. However, Mr. Iqbal’s availability is in question as he is reported to be in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after receiving bail from the Peshawar High Court.

Reserved Seats in Punjab

Elections were held on Feb 8 for 296 general seats in the Punjab Assembly, with polling for one seat postponed due to a candidate’s demise. As the ECP has thus far issued notifications for 42 reserved seats for women and five for minorities, approximately 343 MPAs-elect are expected to take the oath of office in the first session, thus constituting the 18th assembly.

According to election results, the PML-N secured 138 general seats in the Punjab Assembly, while PTI-backed independents claimed 114. Of the remaining 23 independent candidates not supported by the PTI, 20 have joined the PML-N, bringing its tally to 158, while one has joined the PPP, which already secured 10 seats.

The PML-Q won eight seats, with one seat each going to the Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, and Pakistan Muslim League-Zia.

Out of the notified reserved seats, the PML-N has secured 36 seats for women and five for minorities, bringing its total number of MPAs to 199, comfortably above the required simple majority of 186 members.

Meanwhile, the PPP has three reserved seats for women, two have gone to the PML-Q, and the IPP has just one seat.

The PTI plans to protest against alleged rigging in the Punjab Assembly’s elections, with all party-backed winning candidates led by Mian Aslam Iqbal, the party‚Äôs nominee for Punjab chief ministership, set to attend the session.

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