KP Assembly members take oath amid noisy session

News Desk
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

PESHAWAR: Newly-elected members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly took oath on Wednesday after the session was delayed for more than an hour due to the ruckus caused by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers in the legislature, Geo News reported.

The session was initially scheduled to commence 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 “lota” and a shoe at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) member Sobia Shahid.

Speaker Mushtaq Ghani administered the oath to as many as 113 members, who have been elected to the assembly on general seats. The KP Assembly consists of 145 members, however, 30 seats reserved for women and minorities have not been notified as the matter is currently being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The house has 26 reserved seats for women and four for minorities.Elections were postponed on two general seats owing to the deaths of candidates in the respective constituencies.Once the oath was administered, Speaker Ghani announced that the election for the speaker and deputy speaker of the house would be held at 10am on Thursday (today).

The MPAs willing to contest for the coveted slot were given 5pm Wednesday deadline to submit their nomination papers. While those willing to withdraw from the polls could take back their papers by midnight, said the speaker.

PTI founder Imran Khan had announced Aqibullah Khan as the candidate for the KP speaker. However, it emerged on Wednesday that the PTI founder reverted his decision.

The announcement was made by PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan in a social media post that read: “[Imran] Khan Sahib has nominated Babar Salim Swati as the candidate for the position of Speaker KP Assembly.”

At least 350 policemen were deployed outside the KP Assembly building as the Awami National Party had announced it would protest outside the legislature which met for its maiden session.According to Geo News, internet services were suspended in the area surrounding the KP Assembly. With the swearing-in, the KP Assembly becomes the third new 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.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has managed to secure seven seats, followed by PML-N’s 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 seat, respectively.