MNAs take oath for third consecutive democratic government

Outgoing NA speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered oath to the newly-elected members

By
Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Newly-elected members took oath in the inaugural session of the 15th National Assembly on Monday, which marked the third consecutive democratic transition of power in Pakistan.

Outgoing NA speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered oath to the newly-elected members. This was followed by signing of the ‘Roll of Members’.

A total of 324 MNAs took the oath today, with five more yet to do so. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, who is set to become the country's next prime minister, was among those sworn in, along with other prominent leaders including PPP's Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Zardari, and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif. 

Bilawal, who has been elected to the National Assembly for the first time, shook hands with Imran Khan as the MNA-elects took their seats. 

The National Assembly welcomed 134 new faces this time. Today's session witnessed unique distinction in which three fathers and three sons took oath as members of the National Assembly.

Father and son duos elected as MNAs included Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pervaiz Malik and his son Ali Pervaiz Malik, and Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his son Zain Qureshi.

Bilawal's sisters Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari witnessed the proceedings of the session, and accorded standing ovations to their father and brother when their names were called to sign the roll register after taking the oath.

Although Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman could not win an NA seat this time, his son Asad Mahmood along with his aunt Shahida Akhtar Ali was elected to the House. 

The brother-sister duo of Raza Rabbani Khar and Hina Rabbani Khar made it to the National Assembly. Former prime ministers Raja Pervez Ashraf and Mian Mohammad Soomro were elected as well, as were former speakers Fakhar Imam and Fehmida Mirza and outgoing speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. 

The National Assembly session was adjourned till 10am, August 15.

Elected members of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan assemblies were also sworn in today. The Punjab Assembly session, on the other hand, is slated for August 15 after the Independence Day.

Elections for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly will be held on August 15.

According to the schedule issued by NA Secretariat, the nomination papers for Speaker and Deputy Speaker can be submitted in the office of Secretary National Assembly by Tuesday noon.

Ayaz Sadiq said that candidates can withdraw their nomination papers before the elections.

PTI has nominated Asad Qaiser for the slot of the speaker while the joint opposition has fielded Syed Khurseed Shah for speakership.

PM selection subject to nomination papers' submission

The selection of the prime minister is conditional on the submission of their nomination papers on August 16, which, if done as per schedule, would pave way for the process to be completed by the evening on the same day. Otherwise, the selection will be done on the morning of August 17. 

The Prime Minister-elect's oath-taking ceremony is slated for August 18, at the President House.

Once the allotment of general seats was finalised, those reserved for women and minorities were also allocated to the political parties.

PTI leads with 158 NA seats

Leading the race with the most number of MNA-elects is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) with 158 seats (125 general, 28 women and five minorities).

However, candidates elected to more than one seat are required to vacate all except one, which would reduce the tally for the Imran Khan-led PTI, leaving them to rely on support from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's seven members, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid's five, Balochistan Awami Party's five, and Balochistan National Party-Mengal's four members.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is in second place with a total of 82 seats, after winning 64 general seats, two minority seats and 16 women seats.

The Pakistan Peoples Party is at a distant third with a total of 53 seats, with 42 general seats, two seats reserved for minorities, and nine reserved for women.

Security arrangements finalised

From Bani Gala to the Parliament House, security arrangements have been finalised, authorities and sources confirmed, while additional measures will also be implemented for the NA session.

According to sources, the security in the district, including the red zone areas, will be on "red alert", and only people with special passes will be allowed into the Parliament.

Police and Rangers have been deployed in the area. No random person would be let into the red zone.