QUETTA: Although the chief minister is yet to be nominated by PML-N president Mian Nawaz Sharif, Balochistan Governor Nawaz Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has summoned the provincial assembly’s session on June 1 with the approval of the caretaker chief minister.
According to a notification issued on Wednesday, Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha will administer oath to the 65 newly elected members of the assembly, to be followed by the election of speaker and deputy speaker.
Meanwhile, Mr Sharif has summoned the PML-N’s parliamentary group in the provincial assembly for a meeting on Thursday.
According to sources, a decision about the leader of the house is expected to be taken after the meeting because Mr Sharif will also meet the leaders of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) and National Party who are in Islamabad.
The two allied parties are reported to have authorised Mr Sharif to nominate the chief minister from his party, although with some reservations.
Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Nawabzada Jangez Khan Marri are strong candidates for the post of chief minister.
Former chief minister Jan Mohammad Jamali and former caretaker chief minister Saleh Mohammad Bhootani are also in the run. The sources said the Balochistan PML-N parliamentary party wanted its own chief minister instead of offering the post to any other party.
The PML-N chief is likely to take the decision on the basis of a report submitted to him by Mian Shahbaz Sharif and other leaders after a visit to Quetta.
The sources said the incoming prime minister would try to persuade his party’s legislators to select a candidate.
But in case of differences persisting within his party he may nominate Dr Malik Baloch of the NP as the leader of the house because he enjoys the support of the PKMAP which has 14 seats in the Balochistan Assembly. The National Party has 11 seats.
The coalition’s candidates for the post of speaker and deputy speaker will be chosen after the selection of the chief minister.
The sources said Jan Mohammad Jamali, a former deputy chairman of the Senate, would be a strong candidate for speaker’s post if he was not nominated as leader of the house.