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KP assembly elects speaker, deputy today

Babar Salim and Suriya Bibi have been nominated for the slots by Sunni Ittehad Council.

Irshadullah Khan

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly on Thursday morning will elect its speaker and deputy speaker.

The Sunni Ittehad Council, comprising majority PTI-backed members in the house, will elect the speaker and his deputy through secret balloting.

SIC has nominated Babar Salim from Swat for the slot of speaker and Suriya Bibi from Chitral for deputy speaker.

From the opposition, Ehsanullah Miankhel of the PPP and Arbab Wasim of PTI-P have filed papers for the two slots.

The new members were sworn in on Wednesday in the maiden session that began after a delay of over an hour due to a ruckus caused by PTI workers.

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 PML-N’s 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.

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).

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

PTI Secretary Gneral Omar Ayub Khan announced on Wednesday that PTI founder Imran Khan had  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.

Meanwhile,  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.

PTI-P and Awami National Party (ANP) have won two and one seats, respectively.

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