KP Assembly members take oath in ruckus-hit maiden session

Daniyal Aziz
Nadia Saboohi
Rasool Dawar
Newly-elected members take oath in KP Assemblys inaugural session in Peshawar on February 28, 2024. — Youtube/ Geo News
Newly-elected members take oath in KP Assembly's inaugural session in Peshawar on February 28, 2024. — Youtube/ Geo News
  • 116 newly-elected members on general seats sworn in as legislators.
  • Election for speaker, deputy speaker to be held tomorrow.
  • Babar Salim replaces Aqibullah as Khan's nominee for speaker.

Newly-elected members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly were sworn in on Wednesday in the maiden session that began after a delay of over an hour, due to a ruckus caused by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers in the legislature, reported Geo News on Wednesday.

The session had to begin at 11am but was delayed as the elected lawmakers were facing difficulty in entering the assembly hall as multiple PTI workers tried entering the floor and even threw a "lota" and a shoe at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) Sobia Shahid.

Later, outgoing Speaker Mushtaq Ghani administered oath to 116 newly elected lawmakers, which included 111 members who won the general seats, and five reserved seats members, in presence of heavy police party outside the assembly in the light of Awami National Party's (ANP) call of protest. 

It may be noted that the KP Assembly consists of 145 members, 115 general seats and 30 reserved seats — 26 for women and four for minorities. However, 25 of the reserved seats have not been notified yet as the matter is currently being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Meanwhile, two of the general seats remain vacant as elections on these two were deferred owing to the deaths of candidates in the respective constituencies. 

Once the oath was administered, Speaker Ghani announced that the election for the new speaker and deputy speaker of the House would be held tomorrow (February 29).

The MPAs willing to contest for the coveted slot will have time till 5pm today to submit their nomination papers while those willing to withdraw from the polls can take back their papers by midnight, said the speaker. 

"Polling for the speaker and deputy speaker election will be held tomorrow at 10am," announced Speaker Ghani.

PTI founder Imran Khan had announced Aqibullah Khan as the candidate for the KP speaker. But it has emerged today that the PTI founder has reverted his decision to name Aqibullah Khan as the new speaker. 

PTI Secretary Gneral Omar Ayub Khan announced today that PTI founder Imran Khan has now nominated Babar Salim Swati as the candidate for the KP Assembly speaker. 

With the swearing-in, the KP Assembly becomes the third provincial legislature to come into existence after the February 8 general elections. 

Last week, the assemblies in Punjab and Sindh were sworn in.  

Following the February 8 polls, the PTI-backed independent candidates, who have since joined the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), emerged as the largest party with 90 seats and are in poll position to form the government in the province with Ali Amin Gandapur nominated as the candidate for the chief minister post.

Meanwhile, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has managed to secure seven seats, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) five, and Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) four seats.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Parliamentarians (PTI-P) and Awami National Party (ANP) have won two and one seats, respectively.

Despite efforts by the PML-N to garner support from other opposition parties including the PPP, ANP and the JUI-F to bring its candidate for the chief minister slot, it is likely that the SIC — essentially PTI-backed candidates — would succeed in electing Gandapur as the province's chief executive due to their majority in the House.